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Pharmacy licence renewals - minimum hours for licensees

May 26, 2017

ACP’s Pharmacy Practice Consultants have noticed some licensees have been frequently absent from their pharmacies. In many cases, these absences have led to licensees not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities.  

As a reminder, the Pharmacy and Drug Act requires that “The Registrar be satisfied that…the applicant for a pharmacy licence will personally manage, control and supervise the practice of pharmacy in the licensed pharmacy…” The responsibilities of licensees are more explicitly addressed in the regulations and the Standards for the Operation of  Licensed Pharmacies.  

Effectiveness of licensees critical to success

“ACP Council has identified the effectiveness of licensees as being a critical success factor to the acceptable and effective operation of pharmacies and the performance of pharmacy team members,” said Greg Eberhart, Registrar. “ACP’s business plan identifies our intention to standardize rules for becoming a licensee. We’ll share more details on this in late 2017 and throughout 2018.”

In the interim, the Registrar has set a benchmark requiring licensees to be in attendance at the pharmacy for which they hold a licence for a minimum of 30 hours per week or 75 per cent of the hours that the pharmacy is open to the public, whichever is less. All applications for pharmacy licences will be assessed against the benchmark. This will help mitigate concern that licensees may not be able to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the Act and Regulations when they are significantly absent.

Meeting the benchmark 

In applying this benchmark reasonableness will be exercised, recognizing that licensees may have responsibilities that require them to be away from the pharmacy from time to time. Reasonableness will accommodate absence for vacation and illness, taking frequency, duration, and supporting policies and procedures into consideration (e.g. short term delegation of supervisory authority to another pharmacist).

If an application is received where a licensee/applicant is not able to meet the benchmark, the Registrar will consider the application, if supported by additional documentation demonstrating how the licensee/applicant will consistently fulfill their responsibilities under the Act to “…personally manage, control and supervise the practice of pharmacy in the licensed pharmacy…”

The Registrar may do one of the following: approve the application, approve the application with conditions, or decline the application. Should an application for a pharmacy licence be issued with conditions, or declined, the Registrar will provide reasons for the decision. In such cases, the applicant may appeal the decision to Council.

“Our goal is that pharmacy licensees will have a substantial presence, and in context with the requirements of the Act, provide leadership and the necessary support to their pharmacy team members,” said Greg Eberhart, Registrar. “This is all done so that pharmacy teams can excel in serving individuals depending on their care. That is why we are committed to developing our pharmacy licensee program."

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