In 2016, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) created new opioid prescribing standards (Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse or Diversion) in response to BC's growing opioid crisis, meaning that BC doctors are now legally bound by mandatory professional standards for safe prescribing of opioids and other addictive drugs.
In 2017, the BC Centre for Substance Use released A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder. There are also two new supplements to the guideline:
To assist physicians in complying with these guidelines and standards, and to help address substance use issues in their own communities, many divisions of family practice are hosting local learning events and creating and compiling resources on opioid prescribing and alternative pain management modalities.
Some of these are clinical resources intended for a physician audience (i.e., to support decision-making in the prescribing process) and some are resources and community links that physicians can provide to patients on alternative pain management strategies.
To learn more about what divisions are doing to support physicians with opioid prescribing and pain management recommendations, see the links below.
Northern Interior Rural
Opioid and pain resources for physicians (guidelines, assessment tools & information, and community resources).
MHSU Learning Series - Navigating Opioids, Addiction & Pain: The Patient, the Physician, & the College.
Provincial (non-division) resources
Health Authority resources
|First Nations Health Authority: Substance Use Prevention and Treatment.
|Fraser Health Authority: Mental Health and Substance Use.
|Interior Health Authority: Mental Health and Substance Use Services.
|Island Health Authority: Mental Health and Substance Use Services and Resources.
|Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA): BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services.
|Northern Health Authority: Mental Health and Addictions.
|Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Substance Use Services.
FPSC fee codes and other supports
Doctors can access opioid agonist therapy support through FPSC fee incentives and Pharmacare coverage to address pain management and opioid prescribing. These include:
|FPSC Mental Health Initiative.
MSP Fee Items for OAT:
Pharmacare coverage: Effective February 1, 2017, Pharmacare will cover Methadose for maintenance and buprenorphine/naloxone under its Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G). More information: