Forward Regulatory Plan 2022-2024: Proposed Regulations Amending the Narcotic Control Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to make all products containing codeine available by prescription only

Title of Regulatory Initiative

Proposed Regulations Amending the Narcotic Control Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to make all products containing codeine available by prescription only

Enabling Act

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Description

In 2017, Health Canada proposed to amend the Narcotic Control Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to require a prescription for all products containing codeine while ensuring continued access to these medications.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

This initiative is not part of a formal regulatory cooperation work plan.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

Stakeholders that would be impacted by the proposed change in prescription status of low-dose codeine include pharmacies, industry, Canadians, and health professionals.

Consultations

Canadians provided comments on the proposed changes that would require all products containing codeine to be sold by prescription only during the 60- day public comment period on a Notice to Interested Parties, which was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on September 9, 2017.

During the public consultation period, Health Canada received feedback from a number of individuals who indicated that requiring a prescription would negatively affect their ability to access a medication they have come to rely on, including for the treatment of pain.

The Government of Canada recognizes the impacts and challenges faced by the approximately one in five Canadians who live with chronic pain, including the impacts this can have on their physical and mental health.

Having carefully considered the feedback received during the public consultation and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Canadians may experience additional difficulties accessing a primary care provider, Health Canada does not intend to proceed with this regulatory proposal at this time.

Further information

Additional information can be requested from the Departmental contact.

Departmental contact information

Jennifer Pelley
Director
Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Controlled Substances Directorate
Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch
Health Canada

Telephone: 613-410-1829
Email: csd.regulatory.policy-politique.reglementaire.dsc@hc-sc.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

October 2018

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