April 1, 2021
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes the Government of Canada’s announcement to reclassify tramadol as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
In 2018 CPhA called for reclassification of tramadol in order to eliminate the perception among health-care providers and patients that it may be a safer analgesic alternative than other opioids. The reclassification allows for this opioid to be treated and prescribed similarly to other narcotics, with a particular focus on prescribing, dispensing and educational practices concerning the drug (e.g., addition of overdose prevention).
While this reclassification is an important step towards patient safety, we want to reiterate the importance of communicating this change to patients, particularly those who are experiencing addiction. CPhA understands the importance of access to appropriate pain management therapy and encourages health-care providers to adapt and adjust prescriptions and patient education for tramadol accordingly.
Pharmacists play an important role in managing opioid therapies and we continue to urge Health Canada to include pharmacists as “practitioners” under the CDSA so that they can better support their patients.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.