About Your Drug cabinet keys.
Drug cabinet keys and their security is often overlooked when compliance with the Misuse of drugs (safe custody) regulations 1975 is being considered or reviewed. Controlled drugs cabinets and Medicine cabinets are only secure when they are locked and then only if a thief does not have access to the keys.
When considering the positioning and fixing of a Controlled drugs cabinet or Medicine cabinet the Drug cabinet keys must be given as much importance as the other parts of the regulations surrounding Controlled drugs.
Drug Cabinet Keys
Recently we had a call from a Pharmacist urgently wanting to collect a new Controlled drugs cabinet as they had been broken into and all their Controlled drugs had been stolen. Fortunately, as we carry extensive stocks of both Controlled drugs cabinets and Medicine cabinets we were able to assist the Pharmacy and help get them back in compliance with the Misuse of drugs (safe custody) regulations the same day. It seems the thief had broken into the Pharmacy, forced open a small cash safe with the intention of steeling some money but had stumbled across the Drug cabinet keys too. It was then easy and quick for the thief to open the cabinets using these Drug cabinet keys and steel the drugs held there.
It is very important to consider the key storage and access to keys when implementing or reviewing your Misuse of drugs (safe custody) regulation procedures. Drug cabinet keys should be kept in a secure place away from the Controlled drugs cabinet or Medicine cabinet they are used to open. Consider installing a key safe to lock your Drug cabinet keys in. These have a digital combination required to open them and they can be fixed to a wall or inside a cupboard out of general sight. If the key safe is forced from its fixing the key is still safe inside the unit. If you decide not to install this type of key safe for your Drug cabinet keys then ensure they are ideally removed from the premises when the responsible person is not there. This will avoid them being found by any unauthorized persons.
It is important to keep spare Drug cabinet keys for all the units you have on the premises. We are quite frequently asked for replacement keys for ones that have been lost by customers. Unfortunately, the regulations do not permit keys to be identified so if they are lost and you do not keep a spare then it is not possible to replace these keys. Our Controlled drugs cabinets and indeed all our cabinets are supplied with three keys per lock, it is a good idea to retain one key from each lock which can be used to cut a replacement key if any do get lost. Don’t forget to ensure these spare keys are kept as secure as the general day to day keys used for the cabinets, as we previously mentioned in this blog.
If for any reason a key has been lost and you are concerned that an unauthorized person has gained possession, then the lock barrel must be changed. This is a straight forward and inexpensive process that can be carried out by persons with a little DIY knowledge.
We hope this blog has been informative, if you would like to give us a call, we would be happy to discuss any aspects of it in more detail.