In December 2004, the Government gave the Healthcare Commission the responsibility for making sure that providers of health and social care and regulators were creating a safer environment for the management of controlled drugs. This responsibility transferred to the Care Quality Commission on 1 April 2009. This is the third annual report on the regulation of controlled drugs, covering the year ended 31 December 2009. It describes how the new arrangements for safer management of controlled drugs have continued to mature and consolidate, it reports on the progress with the recommendations made in the 2008 report, and identifies examples of good practice. It also makes further recommendations to safeguard the safety of people who use services.