Health Canada says it will no longer be accepting applications from health care practitioners for the use of generic medicines.
The agency announced the change Monday.
The move comes as the government moves to rein in the opioid crisis, with the opioid deaths in the United States and Canada reaching record levels.
Health Canada said it would no longer accept applications for generic opioids from health practitioners for a limited period of time.
The agency said it has worked closely with health professionals to make sure that they understand how to apply for generic medicines, and that they have access to the information necessary to fill prescriptions.
In a statement, the government said the agency will no long accept applications from any health practitioner that does not have the necessary information for a generic prescription.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the government was working with health practitioners to ensure that there is access to information about generic opioids.
“Health Canada recognizes that there are risks to prescribing drugs in the supply chain, and we’re committed to working to prevent the misuse of generics, which we know can cause serious health risks,” Aglu, a Conservative, said in a statement.
“Our plan is to provide an updated list of generic opioid prescribing rules in the near future.
In the meantime, health practitioners who want to prescribe generic drugs should contact the drug supply chain experts to learn how to do so.
Health Canada said pharmacies will now have to obtain approval from Health Canada before they can dispense generic opioids to pharmacies.
Health Services Canada said the changes will allow pharmacists to offer generics to patients in order to keep prices competitive.
Health Canada says the changes come as the country struggles with the drug crisis.
Health Minister Leanna Aglukwes plans to announce new rules on prescription drugs Monday.
The government said Monday it will make it easier for doctors to prescribe a generic opioid.
Health officials said in November that generic opioid sales are growing at an unsustainable rate.