National Drug Schedules Implementation Across Canada

The following summary illustrates how the National Drug Schedules (NDS) model is implemented across Canada.

Scheduling by Reference means that whenever NAPRA makes a scheduling decision, the decision is automatically in force in the provinces or territories where they have elected to schedule by reference. This means the NDS are referenced in provincial/territorial legislation. There may be exceptions to the NDS in rare cases to account for specific needs of that province or territory. Changes to provincial/ territorial legislation are only required if the province or territory wants to make an exception to the NDS, otherwise the NDS are automatically in force.

NAPRA + Provincial Approval means that whenever NAPRA makes an addition or a modification to the NDS, the amendments need to be approved by either the pharmacy regulatory authority or the provincial/territorial government before the change comes into effect in the province or territory. The provincial/territorial drug schedules usually match the NAPRA schedules, but there may be exceptions in some cases to account for the specific needs of that province or territory.

JurisdictionScheduling by ReferenceNAPRA + Provincial Approval
Alberta Yes
New BrunswickYes
Newfoundland and LabradorYes
Northwest TerritoriesYes
Nova ScotiaYes
Prince Edward IslandYes
British ColumbiaYes

*Quebec currently maintains its own drug schedules and no plans are underway for provincial adoption of the national model.