Principles for Witnessing Methadone & Buprenorphine Dosing/Naloxone Kit Delivery Standards

Sarah Boutilier, PhC and Megan Sharpe RPhT

Sarah Boiutiler, PhC

Sarah graduated from Dalhousie University in 2005. Since that time Sarah has worked for Shoppers Drug Mart, beginning at the Sydney River location and then taking over the position of Associate/Owner in her hometown of Glace Bay in 2009. Sarah served as a board member of the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists for four years and is currently sitting in her fifth consecutive year as a board member for the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. She is also active in several committees within the Shoppers Drug Mart network. Sarah and her team at Shoppers Glace Bay play an active role in the community with respect to providing Opioid Agonist Maintenance Treatment for those afflicted by addiction.


Megan Sharpe, RPhT

Megan graduated from Cape Breton Business College in 2011 with her Pharmacy Technician diploma. She soon took a position working as a pharmacy assistant with Shoppers Drug Mart in Glace Bay and she began working toward completing the requirements to becoming a fully licensed registered pharmacy technician. Megan received her full license in January 2013 and immediately licensed with the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists. Since then, Megan has clearly demonstrated her ability to influence the practice of pharmacy by allowing pharmacists the time away from technical duties to engage in more clinical practices. Because of this dedication, Megan now works full time as a pharmacy technician, verifying prescriptions for accuracy and completeness, reviewing compliance packages and managing a fairly large opioid agonist maintenance treatment program, including regularly witnessing patient doses. She is proud of the role she plays in OAMT and feels she is making a difference in her community.


Participants will receive a review of the current NSCP regulations regarding pharmacist, registered pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant witnessing of methadone and buprenorphine dosing. Interactive discussion regarding best practices will take place, including but not limited to: dealing with suspected diversion tactics; assessing patient sobriety/state of mind; appropriate counseling tools and techniques; appropriate documentation; tips and tricks.

  • Participants will become familiar with regulations regarding pharmacist, pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant dose witnessing for methadone and buprenorphine
  • Participants will become acquainted with key aspects of the NSCP Opioid Agonist Maintenance Treatment Standards of Practice
  • Participants will learn techniques for proper patient assessment prior to dosing
  • Participants will become familiar with best practice protocols for dealing with impaired patients and refusal to dose as well as proper communication/documentation expectations

Participants will receive a review of proper counseling associated with the dispensing of naloxone kits including regulatory requirements and necessary documentation. Interactive discussion regarding best practices, tips and tricks, the impact on society and the role of the pharmacist will take place.

  • Participants will feel comfortable with the information required to be communicated at the time of naloxone kit dispensing
  • Participants will understand what documentation is required in order to dispense a naloxone kit
  • Participants will discuss to whom it is appropriate to provide a naloxone kit
  • Participants will appreciate the role that pharmacists can play in society regarding naloxone kits and drug overdose