The Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program (POATSP), which launched in July 2017, is the new provincial program for the education and care guidance for the treatment of opioid use disorder, including the authorization section 56 exemptions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to prescribe methadone. The POATSP program also includes buprenorphine/naloxone training for prescribers.
In order to improve access and provincial capacity for opioid agonist treatment education for health professionals, the BCCSU (in partnership with UBC CPD) developed an online learning platform paired with an in-person preceptorship. The online course is free and available for anyone to register – not just those seeking a methadone exemption.
The Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program (POATSP) and Online Addiction Medicine Diploma are two separate online training programs developed by the BCCSU. If you are looking for a broad overview of substance use disorders and care including stimulant, alcohol, tobacco, and opioid use disorder you can register for the Online Addiction Medicine Diploma program here.
Those who have completed a Methadone 101 course from October 1, 2016 (Vancouver session) onwards will not be required to complete the additional online training at this time. Please send a copy of the certificate of completion to Amanda Giesler (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be linked to preceptorship opportunities.
No. The Methadone 101 sessions hosted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has been replaced with the BCCSU’s online education modules. In addition to the online modules, the RACE line is also available to provide additional addiction medicine expert support.
No. A temporary exemption, which is non-renewable and valid for 60 days, is available for methadone maintenance and re-ordering only.
At this time, physicians and nurse practitioners (NPs) do not require an exemption to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone. However, physicians interested in prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone are strongly encouraged to complete the modules pertaining to this medication (CME accredited) before starting to prescribe.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) who meet the regulatory requirements for NP prescribing of controlled drugs and substances in BC must follow the standards, limits and conditions for the continuation of buprenorphine/naloxone for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Note: the scope of NP prescribing of opioid agonist treatment in BC is in the process of being expanded to include initiation of buprenorphine/naloxone and continuation and initiation of methadone.
Physicians – this is not required but is available for prescribers who would like extra support before prescribing
Nurse practitioners – this is a requirement as per CRNBC standards, limits and conditions
At this time, physicians do not require an exemption to prescribe slow-release oral morphine, although it is strongly recommended that they hold a valid federal Section 56 exemption.
For prescribers who intend to take on this more advanced prescribing, there is a specific module available in the online course to support your practice. It is also recommended that clinicians complete a preceptorship with a preceptor who has specific experience with that medication. When scheduling a preceptorship, the list of preceptors also includes which medications they routinely prescribe.
Preceptors will assist in the training and mentoring of new prescribers. The BCCSU has developed a process to select preceptors across the province (i.e. each health authority) to ensure adequate coverage to meet the needs for recruiting new prescribers, including nurse practitioners. BCCSU preceptors must meet the following criteria:
- At least three years’ experience in the Methadone Maintenance Program with minimum 20 registered patients and a practice that includes routine inductions
- An acceptable PharmaNet review (as per the CPSBC Standards and Guidelines for Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion)
- Clinical practice adherence to the BCCSU’s Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder
Preceptors will be provided with comprehensive training regarding their role and responsibilities. Further, preceptors will be compensated $200 per half-day of teaching and for training sessions required by the BCCSU.