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CSC National Formulary

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is responsible for providing essential healthcare, including medications and vaccines, to prisoners under the care and control of CSC.  Physicians can prescribe medications to CSC prisoners based on the CSC National Formulary.  The CSC National Formulary is updated twice every year, and includes medications used to treat and prevent HIV and hepatitis C.  In addition to listing different classes of medications approved for federal prisoners, the CSC National Formulary provides information about how drugs are reviewed for inclusion on the formulary, restrictions and conditions that must be met before certain meds can be prescribed, and administrative procedures staff must follow when applying to prescribe, prescribing and dispensing medications.  Under the formulary, the dosage and length of time during which a prisoner can take certain medications are restricted.  The formulary also includes rules for prescribing and dispensing medications to prisoners who are being released to the community.

While the CSC National Formulary is a “public” document, CSC does not make it publicly available on its website.  So we have posted a copy here.  Please note that the copy of the document is up-to-date as of 29 June 2015.   


New data released by Correctional Services Canada (CSC) reveal a dramatic decline in the number of inmates in treatment for hepatitis C as the service struggles with budget cuts, increasing inmate populations and exploding hepatitis treatment costs.

Tools for Access 

Despite legislated rights and protections, people living with HIV face challenges accessing prescribed treatment, care, and support while they are in prison, and following their release from custody. Incarceration and post-incarceration circumstances in Canada have been associated with treatment interruptions, lowered adherence and inhibited treatment outcomes. 

Harm reduction programming proven to work at the community-level is overwhelmingly denied to people living with HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection in prison, despite obligations to provide these services in national and international law. The Government of Canada, as well as some provincial and local government bodies, have recently made significant reductions in the available funding for addressing HIV treatment, care and support.  Recent funding cuts to harm reduction services for people who use drugs do not reflect evidence or best practices in the provision of treatment, care and support.

Tools for Access content for this population seeks to educate people living with HIV who have been involved in the prison system on current criminal law and strategies for navigating complex legal systems, including strategies for accessing legally obligated provision of treatment, care and support within prison and following release from custody.  Service providers working with people who have been in prison who are living with HIV will be targeted for knowledge transfer and capacity building. The workshop and content for providers seeks to equip providers with the knowledge and skills needed to help their clients maintain seamless access to treatment throughout the incarceration and reintegration processes. This includes strategies for assisting people who are currently in prison prepare for their release, including securing a medical specialist, treatment coverage and support services in the community they plan to return to.

TFA Curriculum

TFA Fact Sheet