Controlled Drugs (CDs)

Pharmacy guide

This guide provides all the information you need to dispense, supply, store, destroy and prescribe, Schedule 2 and 3 CDs.

It covers the legal requirements for NHS or private CD prescriptions, instalment prescriptions and requisitions.

You’ll find guidance on emergency supplies, repeats, safe custody and record keeping requirements, and how to deal with patient returns, out-of-date or obsolete CDs.

First Published: 26 September 2016
Updated: 17 November 2022

Sections on this page

  • Legal prescription requirements for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Instalment prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Dental prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Technical errors 
  • CD Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) prescriptions
  • Private prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Veterinary prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Repeat dispensing or repeat prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Emergency supplies of Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Record keeping for CDs
  • Collection of Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Requisitions for Schedule 2 and 3 CDs
  • Wholesale dealing of CDs
  • Safe custody of CDs
  • Patient returned, out-of-date or obsolete CDs
  • Destruction of CDs
  • Prescribing CDs
  • Further information

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