B.C. pharmacists call for immediate expansion of supervised opioid consumption sites to remote communities - InfoNews

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B.C. pharmacists call for immediate expansion of supervised opioid consumption sites to remote communities

FILE PHOTO - A man prepares heroin he bought on the street to be injected at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
October 16, 2017 - 9:00 PM

VANCOUVER - The head of the BC Pharmacy Association says chronic opioid users in rural and remote communities should have access to supervised injectable treatment that is already available in the Vancouver area.

Geraldine Vance says the overdose epidemic demands immediate involvement by community pharmacists and up to 20 pilot projects should be started in under-served parts of British Columbia.

Vance says there's already a pilot study in Vancouver to expand on injectable treatment provided at the city's Crosstown clinic, where patients receive hydromorphone and pharmaceutical-grade heroin.

She says that service needs to be expanded to areas where overdose deaths have increased dramatically, and pharmacists could help play a vital role in dispensing the drug and monitoring patients.

Vance says her association has been in discussions with the BC Centre on Substance Use and the BC Centre for Disease Control since the spring about how pharmacists could be involved.

She says a report released last week by the BC Centre on Substance Use on guidelines for health-care providers for use of hydromorphone missed an opportunity to involve pharmacists in pilot projects.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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