A community pharmacy is licensed to sell or dispense drugs to the public.
- The community pharmacy must not be directly or indirectly owned by a person who is authorized by an enactment to prescribe drugs.
- Where the community pharmacy is owned by a corporation, the majority of the directors in the corporation must be pharmacists registered in B.C. For all other types of ownership, see section 5(2) of the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act.
- The community pharmacy must have a pharmacy manager who is a pharmacist and is responsible for the operation of the pharmacy.
- The community pharmacy must be staffed with at least one pharmacist when the pharmacy is open for business.
- Apply for a New Community Pharmacy Licence
Submit the following documents to the College and allow 10 business days for processing:
- Application for New Community Pharmacy Licence;
- Pharmacy diagram – use this checklist to ensure that all requirements are included in the pharmacy diagram
Corporate documents if the pharmacy is owned by a corporation:
- Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
- Copy of the certified Incorporation Application
- Copy of the certified Notice of Articles
Upon approval of phase 1 of the new community pharmacy application process by the College, an email notification will be sent to the applicant/primary contact person.
The College will also notify Health Insurance BC (HIBC) of the Ministry of Health who will then initiate their processes for PharmaNet installation and PharmaCare provider enrollment.
Note:It may take up to 50 business days for PharmaNet installation. The College is not responsible for their timelines. Direct any questions regarding PharmaNet installation and PharmaCare provider enrollment to HIBC.
- Build the Community Pharmacy
Build the new community pharmacy as drawn in the diagram approved by the College.
Notify the College at email@example.com if there is a change in the original diagram submitted or the proposed opening date that was originally indicated in your Application for New Community Pharmacy Licence to avoid delays in the next phase of the process.
- Submit Pre-Opening Documents
Upon completion of building the community pharmacy, complete and submit the following documents no later than 20 business prior to the proposed opening date:
- Pharmacy Pre-Opening Inspection Report (for Community Pharmacy) with supporting digital evidence
- Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures
- Community pharmacy's valid business licence issued by the municipality (if applicable)
Please allow up to 10 business days for processing.
Note: In order to avoid delays in processing your pre-opening documents, the digital evidence must provide sufficient context for College staff to determine whether the requirements are met. Refer to the resource guides below before you start.
- How to produce and submit appropriate digital evidence for the Pharmacy Pre-Opening Inspection Report
- Digital evidence submission form (word template)
- Business Licence Requirements for Pharmacy Licence
Upon approval of the pre-opening documents by the College, an email notification will be sent to the pharmacy manager to schedule an on-site community pharmacy pre-opening review, if required, within the next 20 business days.
- Pre-Opening Inspection
A College inspector will conduct a scheduled pre-opening inspection at the community pharmacy, if required, using the pre-opening inspection report submitted by the pharmacy manager in Step 3.
Note: A subsequent visit will be required if requirements are not met, which may delay the opening of the new pharmacy.
Once all the above documents are complete and all requirements are met, the pharmacy manager will be notified by email when the community pharmacy is authorized to open. A community pharmacy licence will be issued and HIBC will also be notified.
A community pharmacy licence is valid for 12 months and must be renewed through eServices annually before the expiry date. An email notification will be sent to the pharmacy manager approximately 6 weeks before the pharmacy licence expires. Ensure that your pharmacy manager’s email contact information on eServices is always up-to-date.