AB | BC | MB | NB | NL | NS | NT | ON | PE | QC | SK | YT

NDS - Overview

Implementation of the National Drug Schedule Model Across Canada (as of 2014)

Alberta
“ In most cases, Alberta follows the recommendations of the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee (NDSAC). There are only limited differences between Alberta’s schedule I and II and the national model. However, the number of drugs listed in schedule III in Alberta is substantially less than in the national model. This is because many of the products listed in schedule III nationally were available in nonpharmacy outlets prior to the adoption of the national process. Alberta will follow the future recommendations of the NDSAC. In most cases, scheduling changes will be made immediately upon the recommendations of NDSAC becoming effective. Due to the aforementioned differences, Alberta does maintain a list of its drug schedules on its website at http://www.pharmacists.ab.ca/

British Columbia
The National Drug Scheduling System was adopted in March 1998. However, scheduling decision must first be approved by the College of Pharmacists of BC (CPBC) and the BC government, and this causes a waiting period before scheduling decisions can be implemented in that province. The CPBC has submitted a request to the government for a By-law change to allow scheduling decisions to be adopted directly.
Provincial implementation time: 3 months.

Manitoba
Manitoba was the first province to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model as the provincial model (“scheduling by reference” to the national model). This was done in September 1998. Scheduling amendments made to the National Drug Scheduling System are immediately effective in Manitoba.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick was the second province to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model as the provincial model (“scheduling by reference”). This was done in January 1999. Scheduling amendments made to the National Drug Scheduling System are immediately effective in New Brunswick.

Newfoundland and Labrador
The National Drug Scheduling System was adopted in May 2001. However, scheduling decisions must first be approved by the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, which causes a waiting period before scheduling decisions can be implemented in that province. There are no plans at the moment to adopt scheduling by reference.
Provincial implementation time: approximately 3 months.

Nova Scotia
In July 2001, Nova Scotia became the fourth province to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model as the provincial model (“scheduling by reference”). Scheduling amendments made to the National Drug Scheduling System are immediately effective in Nova Scotia.

Ontario
Ontario was the third province to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model as the provincial model (“scheduling by reference”). This was done in April 1999. Scheduling amendments made to the National Drug Scheduling System are immediately effective in Ontario.

Prince Edward Island
Provincial Act was changed in 2006 to accommodate the National Drug Scheduling system by reference. PEI then became the fifth province to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model ("scheduling by reference").

Quebec
No plans are underway for provincial adoption of the national model.

Saskatchewan
The National Drug Scheduling System was adopted by the Saskatchewan Council in January 1998. Direct scheduling by reference to the National System is supported by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists. Government approval in principle has been received informally, and the formal process to obtain approval is in progress.
Provincial implementation time: minimum 6 weeks.

Northwest Territories
The Pharmacy Act of the Northwest Territories passed in 2007. Within the Act, a provision was cited to adopt the National Drug Scheduling System model ("scheduling by reference"). NWT is the sixth jurisdiction to adopt the model.

Nunavut
The Pharmacy Act of 2007 included an amendment to refer to NAPRA's National Drug Schedules as it becomes updated ("scheduling by reference"). Nunavut is the seventh jurisdiction to adopt the model.

Yukon
The Yukon Pharmacy Act and Regulations passed in October 2010. Within the Act, a provision was cited to adopt the National Drug Schedules for the territory ("scheduling by reference"). Yukon is the eighth jurisdiction to adopt the model.

Back