Changes to Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies now in effect

June 1, 2022

Private counselling areas and sinks with hot and cold running water are required in all pharmacies.

On June 17, 2021, the provincial legislature passed Bill 65, which included amendments to the Pharmacy and Drug Act (PDA) and the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation (PDR). These amendments transferred some of the authority to create requirements for pharmacies from the PDR to ACP’s Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP). As a result, the SOLP has been amended to incorporate the requirements that formerly existed in the PDR. ACP consulted with registrants and interested stakeholders about these amendments for a 60-day period, closing March 15, 2022. These changes come into effect June 1, 2022.

The amendments to the SOLP include

  • incorporating requirements that currently exist in the PDR;
  • incorporating elements of ACP’s Foundational Requirements: Guidance Document for Opening a Licensed Pharmacy;
  • introducing a requirement that all pharmacies with a community pharmacy licence have a private counselling/consultation area within the patient services area that ensures patient confidentiality (Standard 4.19); and
  • introducing a requirement that all pharmacies have a sink with hot and cold running water that is readily accessible for hand hygiene at all times, and is located outside of segregated compounding rooms (Standard 4.13(d)).

All new pharmacies (those that have not opened as of June 1, 2022) must meet these requirements prior to scheduling their pre-opening inspection. Existing pharmacies (those that opened prior to June 1, 2022) where renovation may be required to incorporate an accessible sink or a private counselling area will have until June 1, 2025, to comply with standard 4.13(d) and 4.19.


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