Amendments being made to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

Home Office circular 27 / 2006

Amendments being made to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

  • Broad subject: Crime and disorder
  • Issue date: Tue Sep 05 00:00:00 BST 2006
  • From:
    Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group (CRCSG) - Crime and Drugs Strategy Directorate, Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit (DLEU)
  • Linked circulars:
    No Linked Circulars
  • Copies sent to:
    Chairman of Police Authorities, Chief Constable (Scotland), Clerks of Magistrates' Courts Committees, Crown Court Judges, Justices' Chief Executives, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Department of Constitutional Affairs, Judicial Studies Board
  • Sub category: Drug offences
  • Implementation date: Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 BST 2006
  • For more info contact:
    Chris Edwards - 020 7035 0464
  • Addressed to:
    The Lord Chief Justice of England, Clerks to the Magistrates Courts, Chief Officers of Police in England, Wales and Scotland, Circuit Administrators, Court Administrators, Chief Clerk to the Crown Court, Clerks to the Justices, Clerks to the Police Authorities, Chief Crown Prosecutor, Justices' Clerks' Society, Association of Magisterial Officers, Association of Chief Police Officers in England,Wales and Northern Ireland, Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, Magistrates Association, Chief Probation Officers, Groups in the Health and Veterinary Sectors

Dear Colleague,

The Misuse of Drugs (AMENDMENT No.3) Regulations 2006

1) This circular draws attention to the contents of the above Statutory Instrument (SI) which comes into force on 1 September 2006, except for Regulation 4 which will come into force in Wales on 1 January 2007.

Amendments being made to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, in order to:

a) exclude veterinary prescriptions from the requirements that all no-NHS Schedule 1-3 controlled drug prescriptions must be issued on a standard form which includes the prescriber's unique identification number and that all such prescriptions must be submitted to the relevant agency

b) remove the requirement that all non-NHS Schedule 1-3 controlled drug prescriptions shall be retained for two years, thereby allowing for the originals to be sent to the relevant NHS agency, but maintaining the requirement that Schedule 1-3 veterinary prescriptions must be retained on the premises for 2 years

The amendment of the coming into force date of two provisions of the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2006 (that were laid before Parliament on 9 June 2006) relating to the requirement for certain entries to be made in the Controlled Drug Register (CDR).

Legislative Background

2) This SI is made under s.7, 10 and 31 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (the Act). The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has been consulted in regard to this regulation change as required by s.31(3) of the Act. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2006 (the 2006 Regulations), that (subject to a number of exceptions) came into force on 7 July 2006, made a number of changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (the 2001 Regulations). This S.I. is being made in order to rectify certain defects in the amendments made to the 2001 Regulations by the 2006 Regulations as well as to change the coming into force date of certain provisions in the 2006 Regulations.

Policy Background

Veterinary prescriptions

3) The 2006 Regulations established new arrangements for the supply of non-NHS Schedule 1-3 controlled drugs issued on prescription, so that such prescriptions presented for dispensing in the community are now issued on a standard form supplied by a Primary Care Trust; include the prescriber’s unique identifier number; and the original or a copy is sent to the relevant National Health Service agency after it has been dispensed for the purpose of monitoring.

4) These arrangements are to apply to prescriptions for human use only and not to prescriptions issued by veterinary surgeons or veterinary practitioners for the purposes of animal treatment. The 2006 Regulations omitted to specifically exclude veterinary prescriptions from the requirements and Regulations 3, 4 and 6 (2) of this SI rectify this.

Submission of Schedule 1-3 non-NHS prescriptions for human use to the relevant NHS agency

5) The policy intention is that all original Schedule 1-3 non-NHS prescriptions for human use are to be submitted to the appropriate NHS agency after they have been dispensed for the purpose of monitoring. However, pending changes to the Medicines (Sale or Supply)(Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1980 which currently require originals to be retained, the 2006 Regulations amendments allowed for either originals or copies to be submitted. As the ultimate intention is for originals to be submitted, this S.I removes the requirements of the 2001 Regulations relating to the retention of original Schedule 1-3 non-NHS prescriptions for human use for 2 years and on the premises, which would be inconsistent with the proposed amendments to the 1980 Regulations.

6) This SI amends Regulations 16(2) and 23 of the 2001 Regulations accordingly. For clarity, all veterinary prescriptions and non-NHS Schedule 4 and 5 controlled drugs prescriptions are still to be retained for a period of two years to ensure they are available for inspection. Schedule 1-3 controlled drug veterinary prescriptions must be retained on the premises from which they were supplied.

Controlled Drugs Register (CDR)

7) This S.I. amends the 2006 Regulations to postpone the coming into force date of the recording requirements set out in Regulation 7(1) and the changes to the form of the CDR set out in Regulation 10 until 1 January 2008. The 2006 Regulations introduced new recording requirements relating to the proof of identity of a person collecting Schedule 2 controlled drugs on prescription. These requirements were supported by changes to the format of the CDR. Regulations 7(1) and 10 were to come into force on 1 January 2007.

8) However, Government will be carrying out a "root and branch" review of the CDR. It has not been changed since it was first introduced in 1973 and, amongst other things, the need to modernise the CDR to reflect changes in IT/computerisation and other improvements in record-keeping is compelling. A revised CDR will provide a modern, comprehensive format which will include the new recording requirements set out in the 2006 Regulations.

9) Bringing in all the changes to the CDR, including a revised format, at the same time (1 January 2008) will be more convenient and provide greater clarity for those required to maintain a CDR, predominantly the pharmacy profession.

Application to England, Wales and Scotland

10) The changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 described in this circular apply to England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland will amend its own Misuse of Drugs Regulations separately. The contact there is:

Karen Savage,
Health Protection Team,
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety,
C4. 22 Castle Buildings,
Stormont,
Belfast BT4 3SQ
e-mail – Karen.Savage@dhsspsni.gsi.gov.uk

Enquiries

11) Any enquiries about the contents of this circular should be directed to:

Chris Edwards
Crime and Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit,
Home Office,
Floor 6, Peel Building,
2, Marsham St,
London SW1P 4DF
Tel: 020 7035 0464
e-mail – chris.edwards@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Yours faithfully,

Angela Scrutton
Head of Drug Legislation
Crime and Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit
Home Office

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