Your Views Wanted on Opioid Medications

November 11, 2010

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba is committed to supporting injured workers during their return to health and work. The use of opioid medications can be an effective treatment for pain. However, opioid use presents risks and potential harms that must be assessed and minimized by prescribers, dispensers and the WCB.

The benefit of opioid medication is the reduction of pain associated with an improvement in function. Opioids are not indicated in all conditions and medication alone is often insufficient to manage pain from injuries. Healthcare professionals, injured workers and the WCB face a complex challenge to balance how to effectively treat pain, improve functional ability and prevent harmful side effects.

In light of this, the WCB is developing a policy regarding the WCB’s coverage of opioid medications. The draft policy already reflects the feedback received from scientific and medical experts in the community. However, we want to ensure that this new policy effectively addresses the needs and concerns of injured workers, employers, labour groups, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders.

The WCB invites you to participate in the consultation process. Your submissions will be considered along with those of other stakeholders. Please note that documents submitted to the WCB may be subject to freedom of information requests. The results will be used by the WCB Board of Directors to revise and implement the new policy.

You can download the consultation paper (437kb) and draft policy (172kb) in PDF form from this web site. Your written comments should reach the WCB no later than January 31, 2011, and should be sent to:
Opioid Medications Policy Consultation
Corporate Secretary
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
333 Broadway
Winnipeg MB R3C 4W3

Comments may also be faxed to (204) 954-4968 or emailed to If you have any questions about the consultation, please contact Dan Holland at 954-4369 (toll free 1-800-362-3340).