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Emergency supply of controlled drugs: supply during a pandemic

Changes to controlled drug legislation1 2 give Ministers in Great Britain and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland the option to switch on additional flexibilities during a pandemic to allow pharmacists without prescribing rights to supply Schedule 2, 3 and 4 (Part 1) CDs without a prescription in certain circumstances.

  • These are contingency changes which are only ‘activated’ by an announcement by a Secretary of State which specifies:
  • When the change comes into effect
  • How long the change is effective for
  • The geographical area this change applies to.

This could be national, regional or specific to a local area.

Action should be taken only in accordance with national operational guidance which will be issued in each of the home countries before the enabling changes are needed.

This guide has taken into account correspondence between the Home Office and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and applies across the United Kingdom.


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