Guidance documents

Controlled Drugs Requisitions

From 30th November 2015, all health professionals obtaining supplies of schedule 2 and schedule 3 CDs in the community must use an approved requisition form. This requirement includes all General Practitioner (GP) organisations when ordering from a wholesaler.

The approved requisition form is available from NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website

Controlled drugs responsibilities for CCGs

A briefing document has been prepared by NECS Medicines Optimisation on behalf of the CD Accountable Officer and takes into account recently published NICE Guidance NG46 Controlled Drugs: Safe Use and Management.

NHS Protect

NHS Protect have developed aide memoires for use by prescribers and practice managers, summarising the key points to bear in mind when managing the security of prescription forms. They also contain details of who should be contacted in the event prescription forms are lost or stolen


Vigilance Sub-Group’s newsletter Volume 1 Number 4
In this issue, we focus on where CDs thefts have led to harm as a result of individuals taking CDs that were not prescribed or intended for their use.

Patient Safety Newsletter Volume 1 Number 3
In this issue we focus on risks of drug-drug interactions, drug doses in renal impairment, the safer use of naloxone and share an article on prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

Within the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a national CD group has been set up, with a sub group producing newsletters on the Safer Use of Controlled Drugs.

Guidance for Healthcare Professionals on Drug Driving

A new offence of driving with certain specified controlled drugs in excess of specified levels in body is expected to come into force on 2 March 2015. The Department of Transport guidance provides a clear explanation of new legislation including the statutory “medical defence” available to patients.

A new offence of driving with certain specified controlled drugs in excess of specified levels in the body is expected to come into force on 2 March 2015. This offence is an addition to the existing rules on drug impaired driving and fitness to drive. The legislation also provides for a statutory “medical defence” for this new offence, for patients taking their medicines in accordance with instructions.

A partner pack has been developed by the Department for Transport to provide further background to the new offence and campaign plans.

NICE Bites

NICE Bites – Controlled Drugs Safe Use and Management

Medicines Q&As

All current UKMi Q&As can be found on the Specialist Pharmacy Service website.

UK Medicines Information (UKMi) produce a number of Q&A documents providing quality controlled answers to common or unusual enquiries made to medicines information services.

Before using these Q&As, read the disclaimer here

Here are some of the latest Q&As prescribers may find useful:

How can you minimise the risks of medication errors with buprenorphine patches? There are two groups of buprenorphine patches, lower strength and higher strength and there are at least 8 different brands and 21 individual preparations in each of the low and  high strength categories.   This Q&A aims to cover a number of topics in order to improve the safety of buprenorphine patch prescribing and administration, as well as highlighting some of the concerns. This Q&A does not compare the costs of the various transdermal buprenorphine products.

What are the equivalent doses of oral benzodiazepines?  Offers advice on the factors to consider when switching from one benzodiazepine to another and includes a table of approximate equivalent doses of oral benzodiazepines licensed in the UK.

What are the equivalent doses of oral morphine to other oral opioids when used as analgesics in adult palliative care?  A summary of information from a variety of sources concerning equivalent doses of oral opioids in adult palliative care.  It discusses how these widely used figures are only approximate and that patient specific factors should be taken into account.