Dispensing practices are encouraged to have their say on proposals to reschedule pregabalin and gabapentin as schedule three controlled drugs (CDs) that are subject to the safe custody regulations.
This may require dispensing practices to buy additional CD cabinets to accommodate the drugs, according to the consultation impact assessment.
The consultation sets out three options for change, of which option one is preferred:
- Option one: Reclassify pregabalin and gabapentin as schedule three controlled drugs, applying the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973 (the 1973 Regulations).
- Option two: Reclassify pregabalin and gabapentin as schedule three CDs but without the safe custody requirements
- Option three: Reclassify pregabalin and gabapentin as schedule four CDs.
The Home Office has not included a ‘do nothing’ option
The consultation closes on Monday 22 January 2018. Responses can be made via the on-line questionnaire at: or sent by email. The results of the consultation and the Government’s response will be published on GOV.UK in early 2018
The consultation follows a recommendation by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that both pregabalin and gabapentin present a risk of addiction, potential illegal diversion and medicinal misuse. The ACMD reported that the harms of these substances are equivalent to those of other drugs controlled under the 1971 Act, including tramadol, which was controlled as a Class C drug in 2014.