Prescribing Policy

Prescribing Policy

Many of our patients require strong, potentially addictive medication to help manage their condition(s). Of concern are ‘drugs of dependence’ (e.g. opioid medications and benzodiazepines), and ‘prescribed restricted substances’ (e.g. Endone and Valium) particularly when these are prescribed on an ongoing basis.

Due to increasing reports of abuse of prescription drugs and patient behavioural problems, Coastal Health Medical Centre has established a policy to ensure adequate treatment of your condition, while reducing the risk of problems with drug prescriptions.

The major points are described below.

If you are a new patient to the practice:

  • It may take time to get accurate medical information about your condition. Until such information is available, your GP may choose not to prescribe any medication.
  • It is our policy that GPs do not prescribe Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 drugs until they have a full clinical picture.
  • Your GP may decide not to continue prescribing a medication previously prescribed for you. It may be determined that such a medication is not suitable.
  • Your GP will evaluate your condition and only prescribe medications of the strength necessary for you. This may be different than what another doctor may have given you in the past.

Treatment Agreement:

Both you and your GP are subject to strict regulations when certain strong, addictive medication is prescribed. If your GP decides that this type of short term medication will help improve your pain or daily functioning, they will ask you to sign a Treatment Agreement. This agreement is used so that your GP is sure that you understand what is expected from you while you take this type of medication, and that you consent to the requirements in the contract.

As part of this agreement we ask that you take responsibility for your medications and book appointments for future scripts in advance – this will ensure the GP’s availability.

If you are required to take this medication for longer than 3 months, your GP will implement a management plan that will outline the objectives and goals of your continued treatment, which may include referring you to a Specialist or Pain Clinic.

Patients are reminded that we have a zero tolerance on issues relating to staff abuse. Any threats to staff or demands for medication may result in the transfer of your care.