Lumify remains as a Prescription only drug in BC

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In response to several questions regarding the drug Lumify which has been approved by Health Canada as an Over the Counter (OTC) drug, here in BC it remains as a Prescription only drug.  According to the College of Pharmacists of BC:

Brimonidine of any strength or salt is still schedule 1 in BC.

While the NAPRA national drug schedules may have some forms of brimonidine listed as an over-the-counter product, British Columbia is a province that does not adopt national drug schedules by reference.  Any national drug schedule changes must be reviewed by a committee prior to deciding if they are to be adopted the same way in BC.

The process for making amendments to the Drug Schedules Regulations involves a review of federal requirements or NAPRA’s recommendations, as applicable, to assess their appropriateness for B.C.’s population.  Next, the College will submit proposed amendments to the Ministry of Health, Professional Regulation and Oversight Branch.  The Ministry will complete its own review and if satisfied, will forward the request to the Legislative Council for legal review.  If no issues are identified, the Legislative Council will provide the College with a tagged schedule of amendments.  The tagged schedule of amendments will then be presented to the College Board for approval.  Once approved, the amendments are then filed with the Ministry of Health for a 60-day period, after which, they will come into force.  Approximately 1 year is the estimated timeline for when the changes can be officially implemented, however, this is just an estimate as there are many factors to be taken into consideration given the process stated above.

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