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Health Canada Document: Recommended Guidance for Community Pharmacists

Approval Date:

Recommended guidance in the areas of security, inventory reconciliation and record-keeping for community pharmacists


Health Canada’s compliance and enforcement mandate includes inspecting community pharmacies to ensure compliance with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and its associated regulations.

The Office of Controlled Substances National Compliance Section aims to minimize potential situations in which controlled substances could be diverted to illegal markets, and to ensure that researchers, health care practitioners and patients alike are engaged in the proper storage, use and disposal of these substances.

This guidance document was developed to provide community pharmacists with more details in the areas of security, inventory practices, and record-keeping. In addition, this document intends to highlight specific measures that a pharmacist is required to take to minimize the potential diversion of controlled substances from their establishments.


This is a Health Canada document, which NAPRA is posting on its website for information only. Questions about the document or Health Canada’s community pharmacy inspection program should be directed to Health Canada:

Health Canada
Office of Controlled Substances

National Compliance Section

A.L. 0300B
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0K9
Toll free: 1-866-569-2560
E-mail: hc.compliance-conformite.sc@canada.ca






Audiences: General Practice Resources