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Controlled Prescription Program


BC Controlled Prescription Program

The Controlled Prescription Program (CPP) monitors controlled drugs and substances prescribing in B.C. to prevent forgeries and reduce inappropriate prescribing. Participants in the program include:

  • BC College of Nursing Professionals
  • College of Dental Surgeons of BC
  • College of Midwives of BC
  • College of Pharmacists of BC
  • College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC
  • College of Veterinarians of BC
  • Ministry of Health (PharmaCare Program)

The drugs listed in the Controlled Drug Program Information and Drug List require the use of a duplicate prescription pad. BCCNP oversees the provision of duplicate controlled prescription pads to nurse practitioners who are practising in B.C.​

 CPP FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a prescriber?

In order to prescribe controlled drugs and substances, NPs must:

  • Have appropriate PharmaNet access, and employer support to prescribe controlled drugs and substances.
  • Meet BCCNP prescribing standards, limits and conditions and employer policies, standards and guidelines.
  • Keep duplicate controlled prescription pads and all other prescription pads in a secure, locked location to minimize the risk of prescription pads being stolen, lost, or used fraudulently.
  • Prescribers must not share their pad or use anyone else's pad. Every pad has a folio number that is linked to the NP's unique prescriber number.
  • Keep the blue duplicate copy of the prescription form in the client health record, NOT within the controlled prescription pad. The rationale is to ensure complete client/patient record keeping and to protect client/patient identifying information if the pad is lost or stolen.
  • Follow employer records retention policies for the retention and filing of the blue copies.
  • Know that CPP duplicate forms cannot be faxed.
  • Prescriptions for long term care and extended care licenced facility patients do not require the use of CPP forms and may be faxed to the authorized community pharmacy.

To learn more about controlled drug and substances (CDS) prescribing, review:

How do I order controlled prescription pads?

Prescribers must log into their BCCNP account to order pads. Required information includes the pad address (work site) and delivery address. The addresses must match those in the prescriber's BCCNP record. Incorrect information may result in delays.

A confirmation email will be sent upon successful order submission. If this email is not recevied, prescribers should contact BCCNP at qualityNP@bccnp.ca or 604.742.6200 or toll-free 1.866.880.7101.

Where should I have my pads delivered?

CDS/methadone prescription pads should be delivered to the primary workplace where you will be using the pad. A medical office assistant or other clinic staff may sign for the order as long as they are aware that the pad must be appropriately stored in a in a secure, locked area immediately upon arrival.

Please note that the delivery address and the address printed on the pad must match the employer contact information in your online BCCNP profile. Please make sure that your contact information is up to date before placing an order.

For security reasons, only in exceptional circumstances will a CDS/methadone prescription pad be delivered to a home address.

The pads will be delivered from the printer via Canada Post Xpresspost. Canada Post will attempt delivery twice. If both attempts are unsuccessful, Canada Post will forward the order to BCCNP. BCCNP will then contact the NP to organize delivery.

If pads are not delivered within three weeks of ordering, the ordering NP should contact BCCNP at qualityNP@bccnp.ca or 604.742.6200 or toll-free at 1.866.880.7101.

How long does it take to receive a pad order?

​Pad orders are processed on Tuesday mornings and are sent via Xpresspost by the Ministry's printer on Thursdays. If your order is placed on a Monday, you could receive it as early as Friday, depending on where you live in the province.

Please note that the delivery address and the address printed on the pad must match the employer contact information in your online BCCNP profile. Please make sure that your contact information is up to date before placing an order to ensure that your order is not delayed.

Please allow for two to three weeks for order processing and delivery. if you have not received your pads after two or  three weeks please contact QA staff.

Please check with your clinic admin staff to confirm if your pads were delivered before contacting QA staff.

How do I know if my order was processed?

You will receive a confirmation email if your order is successful. 

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please re-submit the prescription order and make sure that the address fields do not exceed 25 characters as sometimes this causes the system to reject the order.

If the address auto-populates please click the box labelled "Is the address to go on the prescription pad different from he above address?". This will allow you to view the Prescription Pad Address.  Please ensure that none of the fields in the Prescription Pad Address exceed 25 characters.

What are the retention requirements for the "blue patient copy" of the prescription?

The second (blue) copy of the prescription form should be retained with the patient's medical record. Do not leave these copies in the prescription pad.

Many clinics use electronic health records for patient documentation. Some clinics will scan the blue copy into the record, while others may use a storage facility to retain records. Please review your employer's records retention policy on electronic systems.

What should I do if my pad is lost or stolen?

If a prescriber discovers their CPP pad (or a part of it) ​is missing—whether it is lost or stolen—in addition to following employer policy, they must take these steps:  

  • Determine what folios (numbered forms) were in the missing pad, and,
  • Whether there are legitimate prescriptions still outstanding that will need to be replaced. 

They must report the misuse, theft (or possible theft in the case of lost pads) to:

Please note: if any patient information is contained in the missing pad, the BC Privacy Commissioner must be notified. This can be done by completing the Priv​acy Breach Form on the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) website.

What should I do with unused prescription pads?

Contact QA staff to request a prepaid/preaddressed Xpresspost envelope to return the unused pads to BCCNP.

Please note that if you are on an extended leave you are required to return your unused pads to the college. 

 OAT and Methadone Maintenance

What pads do I use to prescribe methadone?

To prescribe methadone for analgesia, NPs must use the regular duplicate prescription pad. To prescribe methadone for opioid use disorder, NPs must use the methadone controlled prescription pad. NPs are reminded to ensure timely ordering of prescription pads in order to maintain continuity of care for patients.

Please note that NPs must have completed the BC Centre on Substance Use requisite training and education requirements for methadone maintenance OAT prescribing before submitting their first order for prescription pads. This includes completing the preceptorship as well as course requirements.

What is required to prescribe Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT)?

​You must complete BCCSU's Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program, including the preceptorship, before you submit your first order for methadone prescription pads as indicated in the NP Scope of Practice.

Please click here for more information on OAT.