• RCVS news: New publication provides advice to the profession on controlled drugs legislation, VPMA
  • RCVS news: New publication provides advice to the profession on controlled drugs legislation, VPMA
  • RCVS news: New publication provides advice to the profession on controlled drugs legislation, VPMA
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RCVS news: New publication provides advice to the profession on controlled drugs legislation


The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has brought out a new publication to help members of the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions understand their legal and professional obligations regarding controlled drugs.

The publication, titled ‘Controlled Drugs Guidance’, is a consolidation of existing advice and guidance on controlled drugs from a number of organisations including the RCVS itself, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the Home Office. The guide also gives details of the existing legislation concerning controlled drugs, namely the Misuse of Drugs Act and associated regulations.

The guidance provides advice on a variety of topics to reflect the common queries the RCVS Advice Team receives, such as storage, destruction and disposal; keys and keyholders for controlled drugs cabinets; controlled drugs in vehicles; and veterinary nurses administering controlled drugs.

The publication also deals with specific controlled drugs such as ketamine which, on 30 November 2015, was rescheduled to a Schedule 2 controlled drug, meaning that it is now subject to the same strict storage, prescription, dispending, destruction and record-keeping requirements as other medicines in this Schedule.

Laura McClintock, Standards and Advisory Manager at the RCVS, said: “We hope that this publication will help members of the profession navigate the often complex legislative and professional requirements regarding controlled drugs, as well as imparting best practice advice on how they should be stored and disposed and so on.

“This publication has also been endorsed by our colleagues in the Home Office, VMD and BSAVA and, because this is an area that is subject to regular change, we will make sure to keep it up-to-date as and when the regulations change.”

The publication is available to download from the RCVS website at www.rcvs.org.uk/publications

For more detailed advice about controlled drugs you can talk to a member of the College’s Standards and Advice Team by calling the RCVS Professional Conduct Department on 020 7202 0789 or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it