Opioid prescribing changes in London

To help address the opioid crisis in our region, changes to how these drugs are prescribed will be effective February 19, 2019 for our London and region hospital network.

Three key changes are being made help to manage opioid prescribing:

  1. Watermarks will be added to all prescriptions generated out of Cerner to make them as tamper-resistant as possible.
  2. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada has developed an information sheet about opioids and pain management. This sheet will now print automatically with any new opioid prescription generated out of Cerner. Health care providers (doctors and nurses) must review it with patients at the point of prescription.
  3. The default quantity for any new opioid prescription is now three days duration. This default number of days is based on evidence guidelines and is considered sufficient for most types of acute pain management. Prescribers can change this if necessary.


These changes to opioid prescribing have been unanimously endorsed by all city-wide Chiefs and the Joint Medical Advisory Committee.  It is our hope that by turning the opioid prescribing tap down we can effect an immediate and meaningful reduction in the opioid problem in our city and region.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you may contact either Stephanie Sprenger from Clinical Informatics or Dr. Brian Rotenberg, Vice-Chair, Medical Advisory Committee.