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Ministry Status: Routine Monitoring and Engagement

Ontario Health Insurance Plan

OHIP Bulletins

Physician Services InfoBulletins

To:  Prescribers with the Authority to Prescribe Controlled Substances

Published by:  Ontario Public Drug Programs

Date Issued:  December 15, 2016

Bulletin Number:  4684

Re:  Reminder regarding delisting of high-strength long-acting opioids under the Ontario Drug Benefit program

PDF Version Portable Document Format

This is a reminder that as communicated in INFOBulletin #4675, and subsequently INFOBulletin #4682, the following products will be delisted from the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Formulary/Comparative Drug Index effective with the January 2017 ODB Formulary update:

  • Higher strengths of long-acting opioids, including:
    • Morphine 200 mg tablets;
    • Hydromorphone 24 mg and 30 mg capsules;
    • Fentanyl 75 mcg/hr and 100 mcg/hr patches; and
  • Meperidine 50 mg tablets.

Lower-strength, long-acting opioids will continue to be funded under the ODB program. Therefore, patients who may need higher doses of long-acting opioids for adequate pain management may continue to be prescribed lower-strength formulations. It is important that healthcare providers assess patients individually and make changes to therapy in a measured manner with appropriate support and monitoring.

Prescribers are reminded that access to high-strength long-acting opioids will be maintained for patients requiring palliative care through the ODB program’s:

  1. Palliative Care Facilitated Access (PCFA) mechanism, for physicians who are registered PCFA prescribers through the Ontario Medical Association; and
  2. Exceptional Access Program (EAP) Telephone Request Service (TRS) for physicians who are not PCFA prescribers according to specific criteria.


Please contact PublicDrugPrgrms.moh@ontario.ca or call the ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559 In Toronto, TTY at 416-327-4282.

Additional Resources

Interested physicians should consult the below resources on how to transition and/or taper patients:

To view Portable Document Format PDF files, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You can download this free software from the Adobe website.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free)
In Toronto, (416) 314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm