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Drug Cabinets

What is the difference between a Controlled Drug and a Medicine Cabinet?

Simply put - It is down to the security of the cabinet and its ability to resist being forced open. This directly impacts the drugs that can be legally stored in the cabinet, i.e. schedule 2 drugs such as opiates have to be kept in a controlled drug cabinet. 

Drug and medicine cabinets manufactured to British standard 2881:1989 (level 1) are required to be able to:

  1. Not be removed from the wall by a downward static force of 980Na in the centre of the top face.
  2. Not be removed from the wall by a horizontal static force of 590Na in the centre of a side face.
  3. To withstand an attack from a table knife for a period of 5 minutes in an attempt to remove the door or remove the drug and medicine cabinet from the wall.
  4. Withstand an attack from a smoker’s butane filled lighter with no ignition or melting sufficient to form a hole.

A Controlled Drugs Cabinet is significantly different to a medicine/drug cabinet in several key ways. The Misuse of drugs (safe custody) regulations 1975 state that a controlled drug cabinet must meet/exceed British standard 2881:1989 (level 1) but also be significantly reinforced and more difficult to gain unwanted access. 

Some additional features are listed below:

  1. Minimum 1.6mm thick steel sheet used in construction.
  2. The clearance between the door and jam must not be greater than 3mm.
  3. Door lock of at least 5 levers and to have at least 1000 key differs (different combinations).
  4. Two locks must be fitted if the door height exceeds 914mm.
  5. Internal anchor plates of 3mm thick steel and a surface area of 19355 sq/mm over each wall fixing point.
  6. Cabinet must be of fully welded construction.
  7. Label fitted to inside of door displaying manufacturer name and other specific information as detailed in the act.

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eSupplies Medical is a trading name of Williams Medical Supplies Ltd, a DCC business