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Licensees’ responsibilities when a pharmacy closes

October 19, 2022
The obligations of a licensee do not end when their pharmacy closes.

When a pharmacy closes or the pharmacy licence is terminated or cancelled, the pharmacy must cease to provide pharmacy services. Upon pharmacy closure, there are a number of steps that the licensee is required to take to end pharmacy operations in compliance with section 27 of the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation. Requirements include the following:

  • informing ACP,
  • disposing of or transferring drugs, and
  • managing pharmacy records.

Regarding the management of 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. Upon closure of the pharmacy, a proprietor who is not a regulated member cannot become the custodian of patient records nor can they access the patient records.

There are a number of time-sensitive and essential tasks that the licensee must complete when a pharmacy closes. Further details about these tasks can be found in Section 27 of the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation and the Managing your pharmacy section on the ACP website.