Albertans who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) will now find it easier to access the drugs they need for treatment.
Long-acting methylphenidate medications are some of the most effective drugs used to treat ADHD. Effective immediately, prescriptions for these drugs no longer require the use of a special prescribing pad, thus increasing the number of physicians who can prescribe them.
Formerly categorized as a Type 1 drug, long-acting methylphenidate medications were prescribed using a triplicate prescription pad, something not all physicians use. Because the long-acting drugs have been specifically formulated to reduce the risk of misuse or abuse, they have been moved to the Type 2 list and only require a basic prescription.
Long-acting methylphenidates will continue to be monitored electronically through the Triplicate Prescription Program (TPP). The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) operates the TPP on behalf of various partners including Alberta pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians and nurse practitioners.
The TPP tracks the prescribing and dispensing of drugs with a potential for misuse and abuse, following up with physicians and pharmacists as necessary to improve prescribing and patient safety. For more information, go to http://www.cpsa.ca/triplicate-prescription-program-tpp/.
Short-acting preparations such as Ritalin will remain as a Type 1 medication and prescribers will required a triplicate prescription pad for these drugs.
If the TPP identifies high-risk patient medication use, including the use of three or more prescribers for the same drug class, the program alerts prescribers of the potential concern.
If necessary, the CPSA Physician Prescribing Practices Program works with physicians to improve the quality of their prescribing, focusing on education and training rather than discipline.