B.C. doctors can more easily prescribe Suboxone

Click to play video: 'Overdose drugs now easier to get'
Overdose drugs now easier to get
WATCH: In the wake of the epidemic of drug overdose deaths in BC, the government and doctors are making it easier for people to access a drug that is proven to save lives. Linda Aylesworth reports. – Jul 6, 2016

VANCOUVER – The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is relaxing its regulations covering access to a drug that can help treat heroin addiction.

On its website, the college says physicians no longer need a special exemption to prescribe Suboxone or its generic versions.

Paperwork linked to prescribing the drug is also being scaled back, with the college announcing it will no longer keep a central registry of patients in the methadone program.

It means doctors won’t have to submit patient registration, transfer, and cessation forms when prescribing Suboxone, but must still check a patient’s previous drug history before starting opioid treatment.

Click to play video: 'Can Suboxone help with B.C.’s drug overdose crisis?'
Can Suboxone help with B.C.’s drug overdose crisis?

WATCH: Dr. Keith Ahamad, of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDs speaks to BC1 about a new report he co-authored, calling for Suboxone to be more widely available to treat opioid addiction, and to address BC’s drug overdose crisis.

The changes, made in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, took effect July 1.

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Suboxone has been covered under B.C.’s PharmaCare program since October 2015 and the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse says it is a promising opiate replacement therapy that has been proven to decrease overdose deaths.

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