There are strict controls and processes to allow certain classified drugs to be used in research. However, there are many other ‘drugs’ which can potentially be used by science departments for research purposes. Whilst these drugs may not be subject to strict legislative requirements, their use is still subject to the general statutory requirements relating to hazardous substances and in particular their misuse based on their pharmacological properties and as such their use is subject to risk assessment.
The PI / Supervisor of researchers who deem that these ‘other’ drugs are required as part of their research need to be aware of the presence and use of these drugs. The requirements are not onerous - an inventory of the drugs within the group and an annual audit / check of weights. The users of the drugs need to ensure that their risk assessment for the research considers the potential hazards presented by the drug and document the necessary controls – as with all other chemicals, and good chemical handling practice and local department and laboratory arrangements may be sufficient, but still requires documenting as part of the assessment process