Controlled drugs and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (VMGN 20)

Veterinary medicines guidance note for vets and pharmacists on the prescription/supply of controlled drugs (CDs) and related regulations.

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Controlled Drugs

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Guidance for vets and pharmacists on the recording, using, storing and disposal of controlled drugs (CDs) and the additional requirements which must be met under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (MDR).

The Home Office has overall responsibility for CDs and associated legislation which relates to both veterinary and human medicines. In Northern Ireland this responsibility (excluding imports and exports) falls to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

All CDs are listed in one of 5 schedules contained in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (MDR) 2001 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (Northern Ireland) (MDR(NI)) 2002.

Substances are scheduled according to their therapeutic usefulness and need for legitimate access, as well as potential for misuse and harm caused, to the individual and society. Schedule 1 CDs are subject to the greatest restrictions and Schedule 5 the least.

All veterinary medicines, regardless of whether they contain a CD, must meet the requirements laid out in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR).

Published 30 June 2014