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Electronic Controlled Drug registers now legal, following release of good practice guidance

Publication last week of guidance on computerised Controlled Drug registers means that electronic registers are now lawful.

The guidance is contained in a single sentence on p19 of the National Prescribing Centre’s “Guide to good practice in the management of Controlled Drugs in primary care (England)”.

It reads:“If the CD register is held in computerised form, safeguards should be incorporated in the software to ensure the author of each entry is identifiable, entries cannot be altered at a later date and a log of all data entered is kept and can be recalled for audit purposes.”

An NPC source said that the sentence had been included at the request of the Department of Health and constituted the Secretary of State for Health’s good practice guidance issued under Section 2 of the NHS Act 1977. A Department of Health spokeswoman said that it is “interim guidance”. Guidance from the Health Secretary was required by the Misuse of Drugs and the Misuse of Drugs (Supply to Addicts) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 before computerised CD registers could be legal (PJ, 12 November, p597).

Overall, the guide aims to identify robust systems for obtaining, storing, supplying, recording, monitoring and safely disposing of CDs. It also seeks to ensure appropriate and convenient access to CDs for those patients who require them.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10020475

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