After months of negotiation, an agreement has been reached and publicly announced by Ontario’s Ministry of Health regarding high strength opioids. Ontario physicians who identify themselves as palliative care prescribers and are part of the Ontario Medical Association’s (OMA’s) Palliative Care Facilitated Access (PCFA) Program will continue to be able to prescribe high-strength opioids to any patient who requires them. These opioids will be provided at no cost under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. For those physicians who are not part of PCFA, a mechanism has been created for them to also prescribe high-strength opioids if consultation with a palliative care physician has taken place.
The CSPCP issued a news release applauding this decision and encouraging other provinces to adopt similar policies.