According to the Pharmacy and Drug Act, pharmacy services (e.g., 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 pharmacist may apply for a licence and the pharmacist who holds the licence to operate a pharmacy is the licensee.
The licensee is responsible for personally managing, controlling, and supervising the operation of the licensed pharmacy. A pharmacist may only be a licensee at one pharmacy at a time.
All pharmacists applying for a pharmacy licence must meet certain licensee criteria to provide assurance 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.
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 representative 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 representative do not have to be a pharmacist but must submit an Enhanced Police Information Check and complete the Proprietor’s Self-Assessment or Part B of the Licensee Education Program (LEP). If the proprietor’s representative is a regulated member with ACP, they must be in good standing (e.g., no outstanding complaints or conditions or restrictions on their practice permit).
There are several steps to open a new pharmacy that involve the licensee applicant as well as the proprietor’s representative. The process should be initiated by the licensee applicant or proprietor’s representative two to six months prior to the proposed pharmacy opening date.
To begin, the licensee applicant and/or the proprietor’s representative should review the Foundational Requirements: Guidance Document for Opening a Licensed Pharmacy and familiarize themselves with the entire application process. Once the licensee applicant or the proprietor’s representative is ready to proceed with submitting a letter of intent to open a new pharmacy, adhere to the following steps:
Submitting a letter of intent and floor plan is only a preliminary step in the pharmacy licensure process and is not an application for a pharmacy licence. A letter of intent and floor plan are conditionally accepted based on the overall intent and the inclusion of basic foundational requirements in regard to the physical facilities, space, and layout of the proposed pharmacy. However, it is the sole responsibility of the licensee applicant to understand and ensure compliance with the legislation that governs pharmacy practice in Alberta. Additional steps and information are required and will be assessed upon application for a pharmacy licence, including eligibility of the licensee and proprietor. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the proposed pharmacy, licensee, and proprietor meet all requirements.
Upon receipt of the LOI number, the licensee applicant and the proprietor’s representative can proceed with preparing the pharmacy to meet all foundational requirements. When the pharmacy is ready for the pre-opening inspection, the licensee applicant may proceed with applying for a new pharmacy licence.