Fentanyl patches have been linked to overdoses in Ontario. The Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner reports that from 2009-2013, 549 deaths were associated with fentanyl in Ontario and that over 30 of those deaths occurred in Middlesex-London.
The Patch for Patch Return Policy became law on October 1, 2016. The prescribing and dispensing of fentanyl patches must now follow these regulations. Safeguarding our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy), 2015, S.O. 2015, c. 33.
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.
The program is designed to reduce diversion by increasing fentanyl patch tracking by:
- Physicians prescribing and pharmacies dispensing no more than a one-month supply of fentanyl patches at a time to patients with fentanyl prescriptions.
- Physicians writing a specific pharmacy, in consultation with the patient, at which to have prescription filled.
- Ensuring that patients are provided education on the program and an information fact sheet that is used as a patch return sheet.
- Instructing each fentanyl patch patient to return their used patches, on the return sheet, to the pharmacy.
- Documenting the date and the number of patches returned.
- Dispensing one new patch for every used patch returned.
Healthcare Provider Tools
Prescription Example for Physicians (PDF 278KB)
This document provides an example for physicians of how to write a fentanyl patch prescription using the program.