Changes that require ACP notification
The licensee (manager) is responsible for notifying ACP of staff changes via email.
The notice must reach ACP within 14 days of the changes, and must include the
- registrant's name,
- registration number,
- effective date of change of employment, and
- the name and licence number of the pharmacy where the employment change is occurring (either new employment or departure from a pharmacy).
Hours of operation
You must notify the college via email of any change in pharmacy hours. You must provide notification 14 days or more before the proposed change takes effect.
The pharmacy hours of operation must be posted at all public entrances to the pharmacy. If you modify the hours that your pharmacy is open, remember to change your sign.
A pharmacy may close for a maximum of 14 consecutive days without surrendering its pharmacy licence. If your pharmacy is contemplating a temporary closure, you must notify the ACP office in writing via email, fax, or regular mail, and you must adhere to the guidelines established by Council.
It is permissible for a licensed pharmacy to be closed without surrendering its operating licence, provided that the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The pharmacy closure is for a maximum of 14 consecutive days (or other period approved by the pharmacy regulatory authority) each calendar year.
- Except in emergency situations, the licensee must obtain the approval of the pharmacy regulatory authority for the closure 30 days prior to the temporary closure start date.
- All prepared prescription recipients must be contacted to advise of the closure and given the opportunity to obtain their prepared prescriptions prior to the temporary closure start date.
- Except in emergency situations, notices to the public (using in-store postings and media announcements) must be made at least 30 days prior to the temporary closure start date.
- Signage must be posted at the store entrance and a voicemail message must be provided, advising the public about the closure, its duration, the location of the nearest licensed pharmacy, and other information to assist with obtaining necessary pharmacy services during the closure period.
- Arrangements must be made for emergency access to the pharmacy’s patient records in accordance with the respective provincial or territorial privacy legislation.
- In single-pharmacy communities, alternate arrangements must be made with local prescribers or pharmacies in nearby communities.
When a pharmacy voluntarily closes or the pharmacy licence is terminated or cancelled, the pharmacy must cease to provide pharmacy services or otherwise engage in the practice of pharmacy. Once the pharmacy licence is terminated, the site is no longer licensed and therefore, may no longer store drugs or patient records.
Upon pharmacy closure, there are a number of time-sensitive and essential tasks the licensee or temporary pharmacist in charge (TPIC) must perform to appropriately end pharmacy operations and remain in compliance with section 27 of the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation and the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP).
1) Facilitate patient care
Prior to pharmacy closure, the licensee or TPIC must ensure patients are
- notified of the pharmacy closure,
- given the opportunity to obtain their prepared prescriptions prior to pharmacy closure, and
- able to access their records after the pharmacy has closed.
The licensee or TPIC must arrange to transfer patient records to another licensed pharmacy or give each patient access to a copy of their record to facilitate the continuity of patient care.
Notices to the public (using in-store postings and media announcements) should be made at least 30 days prior to pharmacy closure. Signage should be posted at the store entrance, and the pharmacy’s voicemail message should advise the public about the upcoming closure, including any information to assist the public with obtaining pharmacy services once the pharmacy has closed.
2) Managing pharmacy records
- The licensee is designated as the custodian of patient health information under the Health Information Regulation and is responsible for protecting the confidentiality and security of the health information in their custody.
The licensee’s custodial duties cannot be relinquished and do not end upon the closure of the pharmacy. However, custodial duties can be transferred to another eligible custodian under the Health Information Regulation. For example, if the pharmacy records are transferred to another licensed pharmacy, the licensee of the pharmacy storing the records would become the custodian of the closed pharmacy’s records. A proprietor who is not a regulated member cannot become the custodian of patient records nor can they access the patient records.
When a pharmacy closes, the patient records must be stored at
- another licensed pharmacy (the licensee of the pharmacy storing the records becomes the custodian of the closed pharmacy’s records); or
- an ACP-approved secure location (the pharmacist who was the licensee of the closed pharmacy remains the custodian of the closed pharmacy’s records) in which case,
- the licensee must maintain the records in accordance with the SOLP;
- only individuals who have been authorized by the licensee can access the records; and
- custodial responsibilities continue until the life of the pharmacy records expire and the subsequent disposal of those records has been completed, as per legislation.
3) Disposition of drugs
When a pharmacy closes, the licensee or TPIC must complete an inventory of all drugs in the pharmacy and prepare for drug disposition. A copy of the inventory must be
- maintained in the files of the closed pharmacy,
- sent to ACP, and
- kept by the licensee or TPIC.
There are a few options available to pharmacists regarding the disposition of drugs. The pharmacist may do the following:
- Destroy the drugs in a manner that complies with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Food and Drugs Act.
- Return the drugs to the licensed dealer who sold or provided them, or to a licensed dealer who is licensed to destroy the drugs pursuant to a written order.
- Transfer the narcotic and controlled drug inventory to another pharmacist in good standing who does not have a notice of restriction issued in their name by Health Canada. This practice is permitted as long as both pharmacists involved in the transaction take an inventory of the drugs. A record of this inventory, along with a record of the transfer, must be maintained for a period of two years.
- Both pharmacists should sign the record of transfer.
- The records should be kept in an auditable format and must be made available to a Health Canada inspector upon request.
Pharmacists are responsible for the following:
- Taking all reasonable steps that are necessary to protect narcotic and controlled drugs that are under their control against loss or theft, including while the drugs are in transit between two pharmacies.
- Notifying Health Canada after removing, transporting, or transferring a narcotic or controlled substance from their place of business to any other place of business. Health Canada has developed a Pharmacy Closure Form for this transaction.
- Reporting any loss or theft of controlled substances to Health Canada.
4) Notify ACP
When a pharmacy closes permanently, the licensee or TPIC must notify ACP immediately of the exact date of closure.
Within five working days of the closure, the licensee or TPIC must submit to the college via email or fax
- a completed ACP pharmacy closure form,
- a written record of the inventory of all drugs in the pharmacy, and
- a written record of all narcotics and controlled drugs transferred from the pharmacy (if applicable).
ACP will notify you if we have any questions regarding your notification. Once closed, the pharmacy licence is terminated, and no pharmacy services may occur on the premises. ACP will update our records and notify Alberta Blue Cross of the pharmacy closure.
Update pharmacy phone or fax number and website address
You can update your pharmacy's phone number, fax number, or website address by notifying ACP in writing via email. Be sure to include your pharmacy license number, operating name, updated phone or fax number, and the effective date of the change.
780-990-0321 or toll-free at 1-877-227-3838