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BC Controlled Prescription Program

The Controlled Prescription Program aims to reduce inappropriate prescribing of selected controlled drugs and to prevent forgeries. Prescriptions for the controlled drugs specified in the program must be written on the duplicate prescription pad specially developed for this purpose.

The drugs listed in the Controlled Drug Program Information and Drug List require the use of a duplicate prescription pad. BCCNM oversees the provision of duplicate controlled prescription pads to nurses who are practising in B.C.​


What are my responsibilities as a prescriber?

In order to prescribe controlled drugs and substances, prescribers must:

  • Have appropriate PharmaNet access, and employer support to prescribe controlled drugs and substances.
  • Meet BCCNM prescribing standards, limits and conditions and employer policies, standards and guidelines.
  • Keep duplicate controlled prescription pads and all other prescription pads in a secure, locked location to minimize the risk of prescription pads being stolen, lost, or used fraudulently.
  • Prescribers must not share their pad or use anyone else's pad. Every pad has a folio number that is linked to a unique prescriber number.
  • Keep the blue/yellow duplicate copy of the prescription form in the client health record, NOT within the controlled prescription pad. The rationale is to ensure complete client/patient record keeping and to protect client/patient identifying information if the pad is lost or stolen.
  • Follow employer records retention policies for the retention and filing of the blue/yellow copies.
  • Know that CPP duplicate forms cannot be faxed.
    Effective March 19, 2020, and for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is acceptable for prescribers to fax prescriptions, or give verbal prescriptions for controlled drugs to pharmacists, and then deliver (by mail courier or other means) a hard copy of the original duplicate form. More information >>
  • Prescriptions for long term care and extended care licenced facility patients do not require the use of CPP forms and may be faxed to the authorized community pharmacy.

To learn more about controlled drug and substances (CDS) prescribing, review:

What is required to prescribe for opioid use disorder?

NPs must complete BCCSU's Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program, including the preceptorship, as indicated in the NP Scope of Practice.

Please click here for more information on prescribing for opioid use disorder.

How do I order controlled prescription pads?

Prescribers must log into their BCCNM account to order pads. Required information includes the phone number, pad address (work site) and delivery address. The addresses must match those in the prescriber's BCCNM record. Incorrect information may result in delays.

A confirmation email will be sent upon successful order submission. If this email is not received, prescribers should contact BCCNM at or 604.742.6200 or toll-free 1.866.880.7101.

Where should I have my pads delivered?

Controlled prescription pads should be delivered to the primary workplace where you will be using the pad. A medical office assistant or other clinic staff member may sign for the order as long as they are aware that the pad must be appropriately stored in a in a secure, locked area immediately upon arrival.

Please note that the delivery address and the address printed on the pad must match the employer contact information in your online BCCNM profile. Please make sure that your contact information is up to date before placing an order.

For security reasons, only in exceptional circumstances will a controlled prescription pad be delivered to a home address.

The pad(s) will be delivered from the printer via Canada Post Xpresspost. Canada Post will attempt delivery twice. If both attempts are unsuccessful, Canada Post will forward the order to BCCNM. BCCNM will then contact the prescriber to organize delivery.

If pads are not delivered within three weeks of ordering, the ordering prescriber should contact BCCNM at or 604.742.6200 or toll-free at 1.866.880.7101.

How long does it take to receive a pad order?

​Pad orders are processed on Tuesday mornings and are sent via Xpresspost by the Ministry's printer one week later.

Please note that the delivery address and the address printed on the pad must match the employer contact information in your online BCCNM profile. Please make sure that your contact information is up to date before placing an order to ensure that your order is not delayed.

Please allow three weeks for order processing and delivery. If you have not received your pads after three weeks, please contact QA staff.

Please check with your clinic admin staff to confirm if your pads were delivered before contacting QA staff.

How do I know if my order was processed?

You will receive a confirmation email if your order is successful. 

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please re-submit the prescription order and make sure that the address fields do not exceed 25 characters as sometimes this causes the system to reject the order.

If the address auto-populates please click the box labelled "Is the address to go on the prescription pad different from he above address?". This will allow you to view the Prescription Pad Address.  Please ensure that none of the fields in the Prescription Pad Address exceed 25 characters.

What are the retention requirements for the "blue/yellow patient copy" of the prescription?

The second (blue/yellow) copy of the prescription form should be retained with the patient's medical record. Do not leave these copies in the prescription pad.

Many clinics use electronic health records for patient documentation. Some clinics will scan the blue/yellow copy into the record, while others may use a storage facility to retain records. Please review your employer's records retention policy on electronic systems.

What should I do if my pad is lost or stolen?

If a prescriber discovers their CPP pad (or a part of it) ​is missing—whether it is lost or stolen—in addition to following employer policy, they must take these steps:  

  • Determine what folios (numbered forms) were in the missing pad, and,
  • Whether there are legitimate prescriptions still outstanding that will need to be replaced. 

They must report the misuse, theft (or possible theft in the case of lost pads) to:

Please note: if any patient information is contained in the missing pad, the BC Privacy Commissioner must be notified. This can be done by completing the Priv​acy Breach Form on the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) website.

What should I do with unused prescription pads?

Contact QA staff to request a prepaid/preaddressed Xpresspost envelope to return the unused pads to BCCNM.

Please note that if you are on an extended leave you are required to return your unused pads to the college. 

  • Email
  • Phone 604.742.6200
  • Toll-free 1.866.880.7101​​

New harmonized controlled prescription pad

What is the new harmonized controlled prescription pad?

A new harmonized CPP pad that covers both controlled drugs and substances (CDS) prescriptions, and opioid use disorder prescriptions was developed to streamline prescribing for registrants. The previous versions of the CDS prescription pads and methadone maintenance prescription pads have been decommissioned.

Prescriptions written on the original pads will continue to be accepted, so nurses and nurse practitioners should use up their supply before starting a new pad.

If you are prescribing for opioid use disorder, you must complete the training requirements for opioid use disorder prescribing as indicated in the NP Scope of Practice.

How do I use the harmonized controlled prescription form?

Visit the College of Pharmacists of BC's Controlled Prescription Program website for detailed information on filling in the form. ​

 Contact us

  • Email
  • Phone 604.742.6200
  • Toll-free 1.866.880.7101​