On 10 June 2014, the Parliamentary Order controlling, and in the case of ketamine reclassifying the following drugs, will come into force:
- medicines containing these substances.
The Order, available on legislation.gov.uk (external link), controls:
- lisdexamphetamine as a Class B drug
- tramadol as a Class C drug
- zopiclone and zaleplon as Class C drugs.
The Order also reclassifies ketamine as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Companies who possess, supply or produce lisdexamphetamine, tramadol, zaleplon, zopiclone (or medicines containing these substances) need to get the correct licences from the Home Office.
More information on how to apply for a licence, and how much they cost are available on www.GOV.UK(external link) or by calling the Duty Compliance Officer on 020 7035 8972.
Companies without the correct licences are at risk of prosecution.
The listed drugs will be scheduled, alongside their control, as follows to ensure that they remain available for use in healthcare:
- lisdexamphetamine (a drug which converts to dexamphetamine when administered orally and used as second line treatment for ADHD in adults) will be listed in Schedule 2 alongside dexamphetamine
- tramadol will be listed in Schedule 3 but exempted from the safe custody requirements. Full prescription writing requirements under regulation 15 will apply to its use in healthcare,
- zopiclone and zaleplon will be listed in Part 1 of Schedule 4 alongside zolpidem.
Ketamine is not being rescheduled immediately. In line with the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ (ACMD) advice, the Home Office will carry out a public consultation later this year to assess the impact of rescheduling ketamine to Schedule 2.
A final decision on the appropriate schedule for ketamine will be made after the consultation. Until then ketamine will remain a Schedule 4 Part 1 drug.
The Home Office will issue a circular outlining these changes shortly.