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Foundational requirements apply to all licensed community pharmacies

February 19, 2020
Pharmacies that were open before September 2018 are reminded to ensure compliance.

Licensees: did your pharmacy open before September 2018? If so, have you ever checked to see if your pharmacy meets all of the foundational requirements for opening a licensed community pharmacy?

The Foundational Requirements Guidance document on the ACP website may have been created to help licensees opening new community pharmacies, but the requirements apply to ALL community pharmacies in Alberta—new and established. The foundational requirements ensure that community pharmacies have the adequate space, equipment, and policies and procedures to be able to provide safe and effective pharmacy services to the public.

The document itself was published in September 2018 but the requirements are nothing new. They are drawn directly from the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies, the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, the Pharmacy and Drug Act, and the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation. The foundational requirements simply offer interpretation of the legislation so that licensees know and understand what is expected of them when they open and operate their pharmacy.

Since September 2018, licensees applying for a new pharmacy licence must pass a pre-opening inspection, conducted by an ACP pharmacy practice consultant (PPC). During an inspection, the PPC will go through the entire Foundational Requirements Checklist provided by the college. ALL requirements must be met before a new pharmacy can provide pharmacy services to the public. If a pre-opening inspection uncovers any deficiencies, they must be rectified before the pharmacy opens.

Meeting ALL foundational requirements is a must for existing pharmacies, too. Licensees of existing pharmacies are encouraged to refer to the Foundational Requirements Checklist (either the print edition or fillable PDF edition) and conduct an audit of their pharmacy. This is an excellent opportunity to ensure your pharmacy is fully compliant and meeting all of the requirements needed to operate a licensed community pharmacy. In particular, licensees should use the checklist when considering renovations to the pharmacy, or when applying to be the licensee of an existing pharmacy.

The Foundational Requirements Checklist, Foundational Requirements Guidance Document, and other resources can be found on the Licensee resources page of the ACP website.

Remember, as part of meeting the foundational requirements, all pharmacies must meet all three priorities of the Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Non-sterile Preparations by July 1, 2020. ACP’s non-sterile compounding webpage provides several tools and resources to help you comply with the standards, including Getting Started, Compounding Essentials, Non-sterile compounding FAQs, and a non-sterile compounding self-assessment tool.