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New pharmacies

Attention

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our programs and operations have changed temporarily.


New pharmacy opening

According to the Pharmacy and Drug Act, pharmacy services (i.e., storing, compounding, dispensing, or selling of drugs) can only be provided from a licensed pharmacy with an appropriate category of licence, or an institution pharmacy. Only a clinical pharmacist may apply for a licence and the pharmacist who holds the licence to operate a pharmacy is the licensee. The licensee must personally manage, control, and supervise the operation of the licensed pharmacy.

The following categories of licence may be issued to the licensee under the Pharmacy and Drug Act:

  • Community pharmacy licence
    • This category of licence is required to provide pharmacy services to or for a patient for which the patient or patient’s agent attends the pharmacy to receive the service.
  • Mail order pharmacy licence
    • This category of licence is required, in addition to a community pharmacy licence, when
      • the pharmacy provides pharmacy services to or for a patient for which neither the patient nor the patient’s agent regularly attends the pharmacy to receive the service, AND
      • a pharmacist does not regularly attend personally on the patient to assess the patient and monitor the patient’s response to drug therapy.
  • Compounding and repackaging pharmacy licence
    • This category of licence is required to compound or repackage drugs for another licensed pharmacy or institution pharmacy that will dispense or sell the compounded or repackaged drugs to or for a patient.

Only one licence in each category may be issued to a licensee with respect to a pharmacy.

As of October 1, 2020, all pharmacists applying for a pharmacy licence must meet the new criteria. These new requirements will provide assurances to ACP that the prospective licensee is qualified and capable of fulfilling their legislative responsibilities and the proposed pharmacy will be operated in compliance with the legislation that governs the practice of pharmacy in Alberta.

The applicant must be a pharmacist in good standing with ACP, submit a criminal record check, and complete Part A and Part B of ACP’s Licensee Education Program (LEP). Furthermore, an applicant must demonstrate they have the qualifications, experience, and/or support to fulfill their role as a licensee and is expected to meet at least two of the following attributes:

  • The applicant has been registered on ACP’s clinical pharmacist register or as a pharmacist in another Canadian jurisdiction for the past two consecutive years or more.
  • In the past five years, the applicant has served as a licensee or the equivalent in a Canadian jurisdiction for at least one year, without being subject to discipline proceedings.
  • In the past 10 years, the applicant has served as a proprietor of one or more pharmacies in Alberta for at least two consecutive years, where there have been no discipline proceedings.
  • The applicant will be practising in a licensed pharmacy where the proprietor’s agent is a regulated member in good standing with ACP.
  • The applicant will be practising in a licensed pharmacy where, in the past five years, the proprietor’s agent has served as a licensee in Alberta for at least one year, without being subject to discipline proceedings.
  • The applicant will be practising in a licensed pharmacy where, in the past 10 years, the proprietor has owned one or more pharmacies in Alberta for at least two consecutive years, where there have been no discipline proceedings.

According to the Pharmacy and Drug Act, proprietors own, manage, or direct the operation of the facility in which a licensed pharmacy is located and exercise a significant degree of control over the management and policies of the licensed pharmacy and the conduct of regulated members employed by the licensed pharmacy. The proprietor’s agent is the individual who is either the owner or the designated representative of the owner(s) who fulfils the responsibilities and obligations of a proprietor in accordance with the Pharmacy and Drug Act. Applicants to be a proprietor’s agent do not have to be a pharmacist but must submit a criminal record check and complete the Proprietor’s Self-Assessment or Part B of the LEP. If the proprietor’s agent is a regulated member with ACP, they must be in good standing.


Process

Before you consider opening a new pharmacy, review the process outlined in our Five steps to opening your new pharmacy guide. This document outlines the requirements, resources, and timelines of each step.

Allow 15 business days for the assessment of submitted Letters of Intent or Applications for a New Pharmacy Licence. We will notify you via email if we have any questions and/or once we are ready to proceed to the next step in the application process.

When the pharmacy has met the foundational requirements and is ready for the pre-opening inspection, the applicant may submit their application for a new pharmacy licence (Step 3).

To submit the application forms, or for any questions or concerns about the process, email us at pharmacy@abpharmacy.ca


Resources

Who Am I? - Licensee vs Proprietor's Agent

Licensee Education Program

Foundational Requirements Guidance Document

New pharmacy letter of intent

Floor Plan Requirements Guide

Shared Premises Application form

Pharmacy Inspection Readiness

Digital Evidence Submission Template

Foundational Requirements: Compliance Checklist (print)

Foundational Requirements: Compliance Checklist (fillable pdf)

Foundational Requirements: Compliance Checklist for Standalone Compounding and Repackaging licence (print)

Foundational Requirements: Compliance Checklist for Standalone Compounding and Repackaging licence (fillable pdf)

General policies and procedures template