Fentanyl Patch Return Program


Fentanyl patches have been linked to an increasing number of overdoses in Ontario. The Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner reports that from 2009-2013, 549 deaths have been associated with fentanyl in Ontario. In Grey Bruce Counties, from 2010-2014 there had been 9 deaths due to fentanyl overdose.

A fentanyl patch return program is when a doctor, pharmacist and patient work together to promote safe and responsible use of fentanyl patches. The program requires patients to return used patches to their pharmacy before they can receive more.

Together, the Grey Bruce Health Unit, Owen Sound Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, West Grey Police Service, Saugeen Shores Police Service, Hanover Police Service and local physicians and pharmacists have implemented a Fentanyl Patch Return Program in Grey Bruce. Similar programs have been initiated in many other communities across the province with great success.

This program will support the Bill 33, Safeguarding Our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy).


The program is designed to reduce diversion by increasing fentanyl patch tracking by:

  1. Physicians prescribing and pharmacies dispensing no more than a one-month supply of fentanyl patches at a time to patients with fentanyl prescriptions.
  2. Ensuring that patients are provided education on the program and an information fact sheet that is also used as a patch return sheet.
  3. Instructing each fentanyl patch patient to return their used patches, on the return sheet, to the pharmacy.
  4. Documenting the date and the number of patches returned.
  5. Dispensing one new patch for every used patch returned.


Please use the below documents for your reference and/or to provide to patients.

Adapted with permission from the Middlesex-London Health Unit


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