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What does a licensee need to do before they leave?

August 18, 2021
What is required when a licensee resigns, is terminated, or is away for an extended period?

It’s not uncommon for a pharmacy to see its licensee leave—either through resignation, retirement, or termination—making it necessary for the pharmacy to bring in a new licensee. A change in licensee is an important time for a pharmacy and must be addressed in a proactive manner. Having an active licensee in place is a must for a pharmacy as the licensee is the individual who actually holds the pharmacy licence—without a licensee, there is no pharmacy licence.

The licensee is responsible for the pharmacy in accordance with the Pharmacy and Drug Act and the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies. To fulfil the responsibilities and obligations of a licensee, the licensee must have an active presence at the pharmacy to personally supervise day-to-day operations.

Here are some key points to keep in mind should your pharmacy experience a change in licensee:

Ensure new licensee or TPIC is in place

If the licensee is temporarily away for more than 90 days or if the licensee resigns or is terminated, it is the responsibility of both the departing licensee and the proprietor’s agent to ensure that a new licensee or a temporary pharmacist in charge (TPIC) is in place before the licensee departs, in order to continue the operation of the pharmacy.

No licensee = no pharmacy licence

A pharmacy licence is issued to the licensee. In accordance with the Pharmacy and Drug Act, when a licensee ceases to be responsible for a licensed pharmacy, the pharmacy licence terminates. A new licensee must be approved by the registrar before the previous licensee departs, otherwise the licensee or proprietor’s agent must take steps to close the pharmacy.

Temporary pharmacist in charge (TPIC)

The registrar may allow a pharmacy to continue to operate without a pharmacy licence if the proprietor’s agent immediately submits the application for a TPIC. A TPIC is a registered pharmacist who is employed at the pharmacy and agrees

  1. to personally manage, control, and supervise the practice of pharmacy associated with the pharmacy; and
  2. to comply with the Act, any condition imposed on the permission for the pharmacy to continue to operate temporarily, any order made under the Act, the Code of Ethics, and the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies.

To provide assurance to ACP that the TPIC can effectively assume temporary responsibilities of a licensee, they must be a pharmacist in good standing with ACP and cannot concurrently be a licensee or TPIC at another pharmacy.

The ACP Bylaws allow the pharmacy to operate without a licensee for a maximum of 90 days if the pharmacy is under the management, control, and supervision of a TPIC. If a licensee is not approved before 90 days from the licensee’s departure, the pharmacy must close.

Ensuring that you have a new licensee or a TPIC in place will enable your pharmacy to continue to serve your community without interruption.

NOTE: This article was updated on January 9, 2024, to simplify wording pertaining to ACP bylaws.