First ever paid prescription fentanyl program launches in Vancouver | CBC News


A primary-of-its-kind program is making powdered fentanyl out there by paid prescription in Vancouver.

Dr. Christy Sutherland, medical director for PHS Healthcare, the group working this system, mentioned the purpose is to satisfy substance customers the place they’re at, as a substitute of administering options like Dilaudid that sufferers might not discover useful.

“The widespread suggestions we had from sufferers was that they would favor fentanyl, that we wanted to match what they had been shopping for from the drug seller in an effort to get them away from that avenue provide. So we labored as a staff to create a brand new fentanyl choice for our sufferers and neighborhood,” she mentioned, talking on CBC’s On The Coast

The opioid disaster continues to take a devastating toll in British Columbia, with a mean of six individuals dying of illicit drug poisoning day by day.

Fentanyl is now the road drug of alternative, however more and more it is being minimize with all method of poisonous substances, together with benzodiazepines and carfentanil, a way more potent analogue of fentanyl. 

“Once we take into consideration organized crime cooking fentanyl in these clandestine labs and making an attempt to dose it out into dime baggage, there is no manner that they may make a constant dose from unit to unit. And so individuals do not know the way a lot they’re taking at a time,” mentioned Sutherland. 

Mothers Cease the Hurt walks down Hastings Road in Vancouver to mark the five-year anniversary of B.C’s overdose disaster in April 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

How this system works

The “enhanced entry” program at PHS begins with a sturdy consumption regime, mentioned Sutherland, together with a nurse who works with the affected person to find out the proper dosage and prescription.

The affected person then takes that prescription to a pharmacy, pays for the fentanyl similar to every other treatment, takes it dwelling and makes use of it on their very own schedule.

The pondering is {that a} secure and constant provide removes the necessity to work together with the prison drug world which helps convey stability to the affected person’s life.

“They get their very own distinctive prescription that’s precisely the dose they want,” Sutherland mentioned. “Take into consideration the agony of opioid use dysfunction, of all the time being in withdrawal, all the time having uncertainty…. To know that you simply’re not going to get up at St. Paul’s Hospital post-overdose, having had your belongings stolen from you or having been assaulted alongside the best way.”

Leslie McBain, co-founder of Mothers Cease the Hurt, mentioned this system will save lives. 

“It is effectively thought out. It’s authorized. It’s regulated. There’s pharmacists and medical individuals concerned and in a setting that’s low barrier and non-stigmatizing. I feel it is improbable,” she mentioned. 

McBain mentioned considerations that sufferers will resell their prescription fentanyl are unfounded.

“When an individual will get what they want in a secure setting, there is no kind of impetus to exit and promote it,” she mentioned. “Why would an individual … promote it to go get one thing else that is harmful and probably deadly?”

Authorized prescription

Sutherland mentioned one other constructive of this system is that possessing prescription fentanyl isn’t unlawful. 

“This can be a authorized prescription. It is labelled together with your title and the contents of the prescription in a prescription vial. Additionally they have a receipt for the acquisition of the prescription and have an lively prescription on file on the clinic,” she mentioned.

The improved entry program started on Thursday with a single shopper. Sutherland mentioned knowledge is being collected to judge the effectiveness of this system and believes the mannequin might be scaled up shortly in different B.C. areas. 

“For that one one who began yesterday, simply the dignity and respect you get from filling a prescription and paying for it and taking it dwelling, is so much. And that is how I need to deal with my sufferers,” she mentioned.

Leave a Comment