Consultation: Non-prescription availability of low-dose codeine products

From Health Canada

Current status: The public consultation is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

We are deeply concerned about the growing number of overdoses and opioid-related deaths and are committed to taking action to address this crisis.

You are invited to comment on amendments we are considering to the Narcotic Control Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The proposed changes would require all products containing codeine (an opioid) to be sold by prescription only.


We are considering changes to how low-dose codeine products are sold, to help address problematic use of opioids.

At this time, low-dose codeine products can be bought without a prescription in most of Canada. The potential change would mean all products with codeine would be sold by prescription only.

This would open a way for Canadians to talk to their health care provider about what medicine is right for them. In such talks Canadians could take all relevant factors into account, such as other health considerations or medications.


We are seeking input from:

  • Canadians, including those who may use these medications
  • parents and community members who are concerned about problematic use of opioids
  • physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other professionals working in health care
  • pharmaceutical companies


A Notice to Interested Parties was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on September 9, 2017. We encourage you to read the Notice and send us your comments about it.

How to participate

The consultation will be open for 60 days, between September 9 and November 8, 2017.

Send us your comments within the time given, by:

  • email
  • mail (at the address below)

Related information

Contact us

Health Canada
Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Address Locator: 0302A
150 Tunney's Pasture Driveway, Main Stats Building
Ottawa ON K1A 0K9


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