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disposal of controlled drugs

What Are The Necessary Procedures For Getting Rid Of Controlled Drugs?

Disposal of controlled drugs UK fall under Schedule 2 must be disposed of in the presence of and according to the instructions of one of the following witnesses: an inspector who has been appointed following the VMR; a veterinarian who is independent of the practice at which the destruction takes place.

Stock That Has Since Expired

Destruction – The legal requirements that apply to stock include having a witness present for the destruction of Schedule 2 CDs. This refers to compact discs that have not yet been distributed to a patient or dispensed to one.

However, any unused drugs, such as liquids, that are still necessary for usage are considered stock. This includes any and all remaining drugs. If they are to be thrown away because they have expired or for any other reason, a witness is necessary.

The following are some instances of stock that is out of date:

  • The residue that was left in the bottles of ketamine, methadone, or fentanyl after broaching them 28 days earlier.
  • Any and all other CDs (controlled drugs) from Schedule 2 that are now beyond their expiration date.

There are denaturing kits that are available for purchase, and they may be used to destroy out-of-date stock CDs as well as CDs that have been returned. Veterinary surgeons should ensure that they follow all of the directions for use and disposal of controlled drugs that are particular to the kit. These instructions may be different for each kit.


The VMD recommends that a record of the date of controlled drugs destruction and the amount of the item that was destroyed be established and that the witness be required to sign the document. If the witness is an independent veterinarian, they are required to enter their RCVS number and certify in writing that they are independent in the CD registry. In addition, the VMD recommends that the following data be recorded: the name of the controlled drugs (CD), its form, its strength and amount, as well as the signature of the qualified individual who is destroying the drug.

Expired stock must be removed from the CDR’s running balance only after it has been completely used.

Handling of Returned drugs


All client-returned CDs (Controlled drugs) should be discarded without further usage.  The VMD recommends that the CD be clearly labelled as a return and placed in the CD cabinet, but it should be kept separate from the practice stock CDs to prevent any possible mistakes in the dispensing process or re-use of the CD.


The obligation to have someone witness and document the destruction of CDs does not apply to CDs that have been returned, according to the VMD’s advice. However, they suggest that it would be excellent practice for veterinary surgeons to consider keeping a record of any CD that is returned and having another member of staff witness and sign against the destruction of the CD. This information may be written down in a separate book or on sheets that have been created specifically for that function.

In cases in which an animal has died during treatment, the VMD suggests that the veterinarian who prescribed the drugs should give serious consideration to the possibility of recovering and destroying any product that is still in use.

Residual or waste drugs


The disposal of waste products does not need to be seen to comply with any regulatory requirements. Because residual CDs need to be destroyed daily, denatured kits are often not used for this process because doing so would be prohibitively expensive. Instead, the leftover drugs may be collected and destroyed in cat litter, making them impossible to retrieve. This cat litter is subsequently transported as pharmaceutical waste periodically by using the services of the trash contractor.


Any unused drugs that were injected into fluids to form a constant rate infusion is regarded to be a waste product. This includes any drugs that were left over in an ampoule, vial, or other containers (as opposed to practice stock). The amount that was given to the patient and the amount that was wasted should both be recorded on the same line of the CDR. This will ensure that the patient’s running balance is accurate. For example, if a patient is given 10 milligrammes of morphine but only receives 5 milligrammes of it, the record should show that 5 milligrammes were given to the patient and 5 milligrammes were wasted.

When this is done, the CDR will accurately reflect the contents of the vial or ampoule in its entirety. The entry in the CDR should always be double-signed since this is considered to be good practice.

Reduce Waste As Much As Possible And Keep Track Of It.

To minimise the amount of drugs that is wasted as a result of dead space in syringes, the injection equipment must be chosen with great care, and proper technique must be used. You are required to keep a record of the volume (dosage) removed on each occasion, and if no more volume can be used, you must mark the vial in the register as having been rendered useless (destroyed).

Inspectors from the Veterinary Medicine Department (VMD) or the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) who examine veterinary facilities are aware that even if measures are made to cut down on waste as much as possible, there will still be some that cannot be avoided. As long as inspectors are satisfied that appropriate measures are in place to comply with the requirements of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, the recording of minor discrepancies that can be explained by wastage due to dead space is not considered to be in violation of the legislation. This is the case even if the discrepancies are small.

Wrapping Up

To make preparations for the proper disposal and destruction of controlled drugs  you must discuss your needs with the local waste contractor. Be it disposal of controlled drugs in care homes or veterinary homes or any other facility. Trikon Clinical Waste’s waste expert is competent to manage all types of waste streams in the UK.  To learn more, get in contact right away.

About Perry Wilson

Perry Wilson works as a marketing consultant for Trikon Clinical Waste in Cardiff Bay. Specialist in user experience and a brand strategist, he is motivated to take on challenges that will assist the expansion of the firm. Perry makes the most of his creative time by penning posts that are both engaging and educational for the most popular blogging sites.

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