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Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing

In 2016, the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons announced new opioid prescribing standards in response to the growing opioid crisis in the province. To assist physicians in complying with these standards, and ​to help address ​substance use issues in their own communities, many divisions of family practice are hosting local learning events and ​creating and compiling resources on opioid prescribing and alternative pain management modalities​.

Some of these are clinical resources intended for a physician audience (i.e., to support decision-making in the prescribing process) and some are resources and community links that physicians can provide to patients on ​alternative pain management strategies.

To learn more about what divisions are doing to support physicians with opioid prescribing and pain management recommendations, see the links below.

Patient resources


Mini Med School talk on Chronic Pain (view presentation)


Safe Opioid Practices page
Public awareness talk (on Shaw TV) on local mental health and substance use issues and resources by Dr Charuka Maheswaran

Physician resources

Central Okanagan

RACE (Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise) project (includes chronic pain specialists)
Link for members to Okanagan Interventional Pain Clinic

Comox Valley

Comox Valley Safe Opioid Prescribing Algorithm
Comox Valley Safe Opioid Prescribing Algorithm Resources and Tools

Kootenay Boundary

Chronic Pain Management toolkit
Chronic pain brochure
Chronic pain resource list​ for Nelson and Lower Columbia (Trail, Rossland, Fruitvale) focusing on:
  • Medical Resources
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Bodywork
  • Self Management
  • Complementary Methods
  • Education


Opioid and ​pain ​resources for physicians (guidelines, assessment tools & information, and community resources)
Clinical resources for opiate and pain management
Suboxone info sheet/handout (this resource can be repurposed by other divisions, crediting the Nanaimo division)
​Using a dedicated virtual mobile number (VMN) to set up a text hotline: A resource for divisions who may wish to set up their own e-mentor text support program for physicians

Provincial (non-division) resources

Medical Services Commission (MSC) Payment Schedule. Includes April 26, 2017 update to fee items related to treatment of opioid use disorder.
Practice Support Program Pain Management Module
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia: Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia: Methadone and Buprenorphine: Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Use Disorder

BC Centre on Substance Use: A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Addiction
Did you know? Buprenorphine/Naloxone. General information about the medication from the BCCSU.​
Pain BC: ​Conferences, assessment tools, and articles for health care providers
Provincial Guidelines for Biopsychosocialspiritual Withdrawal Management Services: Guidelines for Adult and Youth
UBC's "This Changed My Practice:" Managing Opioid Withdrawal

GPSC fee codes and other supports

Doctors can access opioid agonist therapy support through GPSC fee incentives and Pharmacare coverage to address pain management and opioid prescribing. These include:

GPSC fee code G14043
– GP Mental Health Planning Fee: Payable upon development and documentation of a patient’s Mental Health Plan for patients residing in the community.

Updated MSP Fee Items for OAT: 00039, 15039, and 15040

Pharmacare coverage: Effective February 1, 2017, Pharmacare will cover Methado​se for maintenance and buprenorphine/naloxone under its Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G). More information:



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