Legislation

The Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010

The Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010 (“Act”) seeks to improve the health and safety of Ontarians by promoting appropriate prescribing and dispensing practices for narcotics and other controlled substances, identifying and reducing the abuse, misuse and diversion of these drugs and reducing the risk of addiction and death from the abuse or misuse of these drugs.   The Act will come into force on November 1, 2011.

The legislation:

  • Enables the Ministry to collect, use, and disclose information, including personal information and personal health information, that relates to the prescribing and dispensing of prescription narcotics and other monitored drugs* in Ontario. 
  • Requires prescribers to record specified information on prescriptions for monitored drugs. 
  • Requires dispensers to keep a record of specified information with respect to prescriptions for monitored drugs and to ensure that any identity verification requirements set out in the regulations are met prior to dispensing a monitored drug.   
  • Requires prescribers, dispensers and operators of pharmacies to disclose information related to prescriptions for monitored drugs to the Ministry as directed by the Ministry. 
  • Allows to Minister or the executive officer to disclose information related to prescriptions for monitored drugs to prescribers, dispensers and operators of pharmacies in specific circumstances.
  • Creates offences and establish penalties for non-compliance with the Act.
  • Requires public consultation on any proposed regulations affecting the collection, use or disclosure of personal information or personal health information under the proposed Act.

*“Monitored drug” is defined to mean a controlled substance as defined under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada), unless the controlled substance has been excluded by the regulations under the proposed Act and any other drug that is designated by the regulations.


Regulation under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010

Ontario Regulation 381/11 under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010 will come into force on November 1, 2011. The approved regulation:

  • requires the prescriber to include an identifying number for the patient on a prescription for a narcotic or controlled substances
  • specifies the information the dispenser must record when dispensing a narcotic or controlled substances
  • specifies the type of identifying number that is acceptable i.e., government issued identification that bears the name of an individual and provides an acceptable level of certainty of the identity of the person – the list will be approved by the Minister and posted on the Ministry website
  • requires dispensers to record the name, address and identifier for persons who pick up a narcotic or controlled substance from the pharmacy
  • provides exemptions to allow a prescription to be prescribed and dispensed if patients do not have appropriate identification
  • ensures that all opioids (including those not currently listed in the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (Canada),) are monitored drugs in Ontario
  • exempts prescribers in certain settings such as a hospitals or prisons from the requirements of the NSAA
  • describes the content of public notices and the method of disclosure that would include:
    • information to be collected, used and disclosed under the NSAA
    • the purposes for collection, use and disclosure
    • contact information for prescribers, dispensers and public

Resources

For the authoritative text of the law:

For More Information

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