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- Innovative Fentanyl Patch Return Program Coming to Kawartha Lakes With Aim of Reducing Accidental Overdoses -

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – Local pharmacist Cathy Puffer couldn’t live with the thought of a painkiller she dispensed being the cause of an accidental overdose in her community.

For that reason, the owner and pharmacy manager at Remedy Rx on Kent in Lindsay decided to raise the idea of introducing a unique fentanyl patch return program in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Similar to programs that she knew existed in places like Toronto and Peterborough, Puffer approached local police, health care providers and various other community agencies to work on the initiative. The net result is the Patch 4 Patch Program that will be formally launched in Lindsay on October 14.

“It’s great to see the entire community respond to the Patch 4 Patch Program,” says Puffer. “If one life is saved…one accidental overdose prevented…then all the effort has been worth it.”

Doctors will often prescribe fentanyl patches as a painkiller for their patients. Prescriptions for the painkiller are filled at a pharmacy. However, like other prescription painkillers, used fentanyl patches are finding their way onto the streets. Frequently, the used fentanyl patches are being cut up, then sold on the streets where they are chewed or smoked as a drug. The result is the increased risk of accidental overdoses and deaths.

The Patch 4 Patch Program is designed as a “one in and one out” model, according to Puffer, in which patients are asked to return any fentanyl patches previously dispensed to the pharmacy before they are able to receive more patches. Doctors will explain the fentanyl patch program to their patients prior to prescribing the painkiller.

“This is a valuable partnership between physicians, pharmacists and patients to promote the safe, effective and responsibly use of fentanyl patches,” notes Bridget McFarthing, a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ride District Health Unit.

The Patch 4 Patch Program will be formally launched on October 14 in Lindsay at an event for local doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers. The evening’s focus is on a ‘Responsible Opioid Prescribing and Minimizing Adverse Consequences,’ a discussion that will be led by Dr. Howard Burke, a family physician from Bowmanville.

Overdoses due to the use of opioids – or prescription pain relief medication – are now the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario, according to the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. In 2012, 200 people in Ontario died due to these overdoses.


For media inquiries, contact:

Cathy Puffer, Pharmacist, Remedy RX on Kent, (705) 324-0500,

or Bridget McFarthing, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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«January 2019»