The RCVS has reminded practices about how to protect themselves through the safe and secure storage of controlled drugs after being made aware of a number of recent burglaries of practice premises.

Medicine bottle.
The college said it considers it advisable for all Schedule 3 controlled drugs to be stored in the controlled drug cabinet. IMAGE: Fotolia/ Kwangmoo.

All Schedule 2 controlled drugs (with the exception of secobarbital) and certain Schedule 3 controlled drugs are legally required to be stored in a locked container which is compliant with the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973.

Restricted access

However, the college said it considers it advisable for all Schedule 3 controlled drugs to be stored in the controlled drug cabinet.

Controlled drug cabinets must only be accessed by a veterinary surgeon, or another nominated responsible person at the practice.

In the case of a nominated person who is not a veterinary surgeon removing controlled drugs from the cabinet, the legal and professional responsibility remains with the veterinary surgeon whose direction they are under.

Download guidance

The college’s full guidance, including advice on use, location, and design and construction of cabinets, can be found in the controlled drugs guidance and the Practice Standards Scheme manual. Many police forces in the UK also have controlled drugs liaison officers who offer advice on various matters, including safe storage.

To download the controlled drugs guidance, visit the college’s website.

Contact details for controlled drugs liaison officers by area can be obtained from the Association of Police Controlled Drugs Liaison Officers.

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