High Quantity Letters

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Messenger, Prescribing Corner Leave a Comment

The Triplicate Prescription Program identifies patients dispensed high quantities of triplicate medications at one time. In the second quarter of 2014, there were 87 pharmacy dispenses of over 1000 tablets in Alberta.

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is a significant problem in Alberta and lost or stolen medications can put patients, their families and communities at risk. For patients who struggle to control their medication use, possession of large quantities can put them at risk of dependence and overdose. Six per cent of adolescents have reported using prescription drugs to get high (Currie, 2012) and the most common initial use is by accessing family members medications. Diverted medications have street value and may be sold for illicit purposes.

For these reasons, the Triplicate Prescription Program will be sending out letters to physicians prescribing high quantity medications. Triplicate prescriptions cannot be refilled, but physicians are encouraged to indicate that a smaller amount of the medication be dispensed at specific intervals.

For more information on best practice prescribing guidelines and resources, please visit the Physician Prescribing Practices Program site at: http://www.cpsa.ab.ca/Services/Physician_Prescribing_Practices/P4_Resources.aspx.

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