Health and Community Services
November 21, 2016
Stronger Communities through Improved Health Care
Minister Haggie Outlines Province’s Opioid Action Plan at National Summit
The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, outlined Newfoundland and Labrador’s opioid action plan at the national Opioid Conference and Summit recently in Ottawa. The summit provided an opportunity to address the growing national concern surrounding the increasing number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl.
“This event offered an invaluable opportunity to hear the many different voices of those who are close to the opioid overdosing crisis across Canada. This included people who use drugs, their families, first responders, and health care providers. I learned what other jurisdictions are doing and I am confident in the approach our government is taking to manage this situation in our province.”
- The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services
In August, the Provincial Government provided funding to the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador and the four regional health authorities to establish a province-wide targeted take-home naloxone program with kits to be available at the end of November. This is in tandem with other important measures including:
- Development of a safe prescribing course in partnership with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine;
- New regulatory standards from the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board requiring all pharmacies to be connected to the Provincial Pharmacy Network;
- Development of a province-wide Prescription Monitoring Program;
- Improving access to effective treatment options including Suboxone as an alternative to Methadone; and
- Developing a provincial public awareness and education program on opioids.
The full action plan as outlined in the Government of Canada’s Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis is in the Backgrounder below.
- The Minister of Health and Community Services outlined Newfoundland and Labrador’s opioid action plan at the National Opioid Summit recently.
- The summit provided an opportunity to address the growing national concern surrounding overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl.
- The action plan will advance this fall, and has been outlined in the Government of Canada’s Joint Statement of Action
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Media Relations Manager
Department of Health and Community Services
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Outlines Opioid Action Plan
The Department of Health and Community Services Commits to:
- By December 31, 2017: Implementing a Provincial Prescription Monitoring Program focused on prescription drugs with high potential for abuse. Specific actions include:
- By December 2016: Establishing the governance structure for the program;
- By January 2017: Implementing of Safe Prescribing Course for Physicians;
- By May 2017: Establishing wide-scale access to patient drug profiles for physicians;
- By May 2017: Implementing a Provincial Pharmacy Network;
- By December 2017: Operationalizing Prescription Monitoring Program database and analytics capacity; and
- Exploring the legislation required to enable the Prescription Monitoring Program.
- Implementing a provincial Take Home Naloxone Kit program to increase capacity for Opioid Overdose response. Specific actions include:
- By December 2016: Collaborating with community partners, regional health authorities, and other government departments in the development of a provincial Take Home Naloxone Kit program;
- By December 2016: Establishing target populations and provincial distribution sites;
- By January 2017: Developing and implementing related training, education and program awareness materials;
- By October 2017: Developing and implementing a program evaluation framework to strengthen the effectiveness of the provincial Take Home Naloxone program; and
- By January 2017: Developing and implementing a multi-faceted opioid overdose awareness and education campaign.
- By March 2017: Initiating coverage of Suboxone under special authorization, until an Atlantic Common Drug Review can be completed. Specific actions include:
- By December 2016: Identifying training/operational requirements for physicians/pharmacists/others working with clients on Suboxone;
- By January 2017: Communicating and consulting on the plan with Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prescribers, Pharmacy Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and others as required;
- By February 2017: Finalizing and implementing training and any operational requirements, e.g. revised billing codes; and
- By March 2017: Communicating publicly.
2016 11 21 1:40 p.m.