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Managing Controlled Drugs

Every veterinarian has the right to prescribe and dispense controlled drugs. This privilege comes with responsibilities, inclusive of mitigating the risk of inappropriate or illegal access to controlled drugs. The College provides guidance to assist veterinarians with meeting their obligations in this important area.

Managing Controlled Drugs in a Veterinary Facility

Veterinary rules related to the management of controlled drugs, including disposal, have always been rigorous.

The law is clear that veterinarians, in particular the facility director, are responsible for the access to and the use of any controlled drugs in an accredited facility. Further, veterinarians are responsible for appropriate prescribing, appropriate dispensing, maintaining appropriate logs, completion of audits, and the management of every controlled drug in an accredited facility.

Security, Storage, and Disposal of Controlled Drugs

Veterinarians must implement strategies to mitigate the risk of loss, theft or diversion of controlled drugs. This responsibility includes the overall management of any controlled drugs used in a veterinary practice, including secure storage, inventory control, and disposal. Review these policies and resources to find out more.

Maintaining a Controlled Drug Log

Federal and provincial law requires veterinarians to track the controlled drugs in their accredited facilities. Veterinarians that prescribe and dispense controlled drugs are responsible for ensuring that a controlled drugs log is correctly maintained in accordance with the law. Review these resources on how to maintain a proper drug log in a veterinary practice.

Performing Controlled Drug Audits

Federal and provincial law requires veterinarians to conduct regular audits of their controlled drug inventory and record the results of the audit. Facilities are required to perform and document audits of their controlled drug inventory every 21 to 31 days (on a monthly basis). Review these resources about audits including appropriate methods of measuring controlled drugs in your inventory and what to do when irregularities are found.