Transfer of Controlled Drugs between pharmacies

There may be occasions where a pharmacy needs to transfer a Controlled Drug from one pharmacy to another (e.g. to fulfil an urgent prescription, to prevent the item going out of date etc).

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (and amendments) require that written requisitions be presented for Schedule 1, 2 and 3 controlled drugs by:

  • a practitioner;
  • the person in charge or acting person in charge of a hospital, organisation providing ambulance services or care home;
  • a person who is in charge of a laboratory;
  • the owner of a ship, or the master of a ship which does not carry a doctor among the seamen employed in it;
  • the master of a foreign ship in a port in Great Britain;
  • the installation manager of an offshore installation;
  • a supplementary prescriber;
  • a nurse independent prescriber;
  • a pharmacist independent prescriber;
  • a person who holds a certificate of proficiency in ambulance paramedic skills issued by, or with the approval of, the Secretary of State, or a person who is a registered paramedic.

Registered pharmacies are excluded from this legal requirement. The Home Office, however, advises that any supply between pharmacies only be made following receipt of a written requisition on an approved requisition form.

Each devolved country has a different version of the mandatory form to be used (See here). Pharmacies must ensure that the correct form is used, is signed in wet ink (supplies cannot be made against faxed or photocopied requisition forms) and contains the following details

  • Signature of the recipient.
  • Name of the recipient.
  • Address of the recipient.
  • Profession or occupation.
  • Total quantity of drug.
  • Purpose of the requisition.

Appropriate records of the supply should be made containing at least the above information (in the Controlled Drugs Register for Schedule 2 and in the POM Register for Schedule 3).

A charge for the item should be agreed between both parties before supply agreement is made. For transfer of stock between branches of the same company, notification to the finance/accounts department should be made according to company policy. 

A photocopy of the requisition forms should be made and the original submitted as per requirement by the pricing authority:

England and Wales


Northern Ireland

Further information and guidance can be obtained from:

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (members only)

Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP) (RPS members only)

Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law