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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Fentanyl Patch Return Program

NOTICE: Effective Friday, October 6, 2023, information about the Fentanyl Patch Return Program and corresponding documents will be removed from the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s website. Please download and save any documents or resources that are located on this website for your future use.


Many thanks to the dedicated individuals and community agencies who contributed to the development, promotion, and implementation of the Middlesex-London Fentanyl Patch Return Program.

Fentanyl patches have been linked to an increasing number of overdoses in Ontario. The Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner reports that from 2009-2013, 549 deaths have been associated with fentanyl in Ontario and that over 30 of those deaths have been in Middlesex-London.


A fentanyl patch return program is when a doctor, pharmacist and patient work together to promote safe and responsible use of fentanyl patches. The program requires patients to return used patches to their pharmacy before they can receive more.

A recent collaboration between the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Strathroy-Caradoc Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, London Police Service and local physicians and pharmacists has resulted in the implementation of a Fentanyl Patch Return Program in Middlesex and London. Similar programs have been initiated in many other communities across the province with great success.


Safeguarding our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy), 2015, S.O. 2015, c. 33

The Patch for Patch Return Policy became law on October 1, 2016. The prescribing and dispensing of fentanyl patches must now follow these regulations.


The program is designed to reduce diversion by increasing fentanyl patch tracking by:

  1. Physicians prescribing and pharmacies dispensing no more than a one-month supply of fentanyl patches at a time to patients with fentanyl prescriptions.
  2. Ensuring that patients are provided education on the program and an information fact sheet that is also used as a patch return sheet.
  3. Instructing each fentanyl patch patient to return their used patches, on the return sheet, to the pharmacy.
  4. Documenting the date and the number of patches returned.
  5. Dispensing one new patch for every used patch returned.

Please use the below documents for your reference and/or to provide to patients.

Date of creation: April 10, 2015
Last modified on: August 17, 2023