Guidance for Pharmacists on the Safe Supply of Methadone and Buprenorphine for Opioid Substitution

The purpose of this guidance is to remind pharmacists involved in the supply of methadone and buprenorphine for opioid substitution of the requirements which must be fulfilled in order to ensure compliance with legal and professional obligations.

Guidance for Pharmacists on the Safe Supply of Methadone and Buprenorphine for Opioid Substitution pdf cover

Methadone and Buprenorphine 

Methadone and buprenorphine are Schedule 2 controlled drugs which can be used in the treatment of opioid addiction as substitution or maintenance therapy, within a broader treatment protocol, accompanied by regular reviews and reassessment. This treatment must be supervised by specialist services. Certain methadone products are also licensed for the relief of severe pain in conditions where morphine may be a reasonable alternative, such as severe cancer pain.

Pharmacists, in particular superintendent and supervising pharmacists, should ensure that suitable controls and accountability mechanisms are in place, in order to appropriately control the supply of methadone, buprenorphine, and all other medicinal products which are known to have the potential for abuse and/ or dependency.

Other relevant content: 

Inspectors Advice: Balance Checks and Reconciliation-Methadone-Inspection-PSI.