Narcotic Purchase Records


Published: February 2012

Legislative References:
Additional References:

College Contact: Pharmacy Practice


The Narcotic and Controlled Drugs Register was originally provided by the Office of Controlled Substances (formerly the Bureau of Dangerous Drugs) for the purpose of recording all purchases of narcotics and controlled drugs. Purchases of benzodiazepine and controlled substances must also be recorded and maintained. Pharmacists are no longer required to submit bi-monthly Narcotic and Controlled Drugs sales reports to the Office of Controlled Substances: however, in accordance with the current provisions of the Narcotic Control Regulations and the Food and Drug Regulations, pharmacists are still required to maintain, on their premises, up-to-date records (paper or electronic) of their purchases and sales transactions. These records must be made available on request to a representative of the Minister of Health or a College inspector.

Narcotic Control Regulations s. 30:

A pharmacist, upon receipt of a narcotic from a licensed dealer, shall forthwith enter in a book, register or other record maintained for such purposes, the following:

  1. The name and quantity of the narcotic received;
  2. The date the narcotic was received; and
  3. The name and address of the person from whom the narcotic was received.
Requirements to comply with Narcotic Control Regulations s. 30:

Regardless of the manner in which records are maintained, all records must be readily retrievable. Purchase records must meet the requirements specified in the regulations. Records can be maintained manually, as invoice-based records, or as computer generated reports.

1. Manual:
Where maintaining records as a hard copy book or register, new pages can be downloaded as PDF from the College website. For access to College documents:

  1. Access the website and at the bottom of the home page click on the link to Forms
  2. Select “Pharmacy Narcotic and Controlled Drug Register” lister under “Practice Related” forms

2. Invoice-based:
Purchase invoices or copies may be used: they should be filed chronologically by the date the product was received, including invoice number.

3. Computer generated:
Utilizing electronic methods that meet the requirements of the regulations, including scanning and maintaining purchase records in a dedicated file or utilizing software to create an electronic record capable of creating a computer-generated purchase report.

Narcotic Control Regulations s. 40(2):

A pharmacist shall retain in his possession for a period of at least two years any records which he is required to keep by these Regulations.

Requirements to comply with Narcotic Control Regulations s. 40(2)

Where the records are maintained manually in a register or in a computer program, those records are to be retained for at least two years. Where records are maintained by filing invoices in chronological order for at least two years, pharmacists may consider filing copies of the invoices. Original invoices are financial records and may have to be retained for up to 7 years for the purposes of Revenue Canada. Pharmacists should verify the Revenue Canada requirements with their accountant.