McMaster University

McMaster University

Controlled Drugs and Substances

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was issued to regulate specific drugs and their precursors. McMaster researchers wishing to acquire small quantities of these compounds or their derivatives or similarly acting substances must apply for an exemption under this Act.

A researcher who wishes to purchase these items for in vivo use must contact the CAF to submit an amendment to their AUP prior to undertaking such work.


The researcher must fill in an Application for an Exemption to Use A Controlled Substance For Scientific Purposes.

If the researcher is also importing a controlled substance must also complete appendix 1, the Import Order Authorization and Permit Application Form.

To request a form, send an email to:

Part of the process involves ensuring adquate security is in place. The amount and type of security depends upon factors highlighted in the Directive On Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances. The researcher should ensure that the security measures can be met PRIOR to initiating an application.

Some items to consider when filling in the forms:

  • Only those persons with documented administrative authority over and are supervisors of persons undertaking work involving controlled drugs and substances may be designated as principal investigators per the application form. The use of any person who does not fit this criteria may constitute a legal liability to the University for the purposes of due diligence and worker safety.
  • Provision of the animal care committee approval should either be the entirety of the AUP as it should list the drugs to be used, or a letter from the University Veterinarian summarizing approval conditions for in vivo use.
  • Project description should be brief, in lay terms and include only those protocols which include use of the drug.


For those researchers who wish to use a common veterinary product for routine in vivo use only, please contact Marion Corrick, Technical Manager, CAF to arrange for application, inventorying and storage within the CAF.

For help filling out the applications and document requirements, please contact the Biosafety Office.

Completed forms and supporting documentation should be sent to:

National Exemption Section
Office of Controlled Substances
Health Canada,
A.L. 0300B
Ottawa Ontario K1A 0K9

Note: Faxed applications will no longer be accepted.

For further information, you may contact National Compliance and Exemption Division by phone at (613) 954-8246 or (613) 954-7668 or by e-mail at

Updated July 12, 2017




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