Community Telepharmacy

Telepharmacy (Community)

Telepharmacy is the delivery of traditional pharmacy services, which includes dispensing of medications and providing patient counselling, via telecommunications to patients in underserved rural and/or remote communities where they may not have local access to a pharmacist.  

A pharmacy technician at the remote site prepares the prescription drug for dispensing by the pharmacist, and the pharmacist at the central site reviews the patient’s profile and performs the clinical check of the medication for appropriateness, as well as communicating face-to-face with patients for medication counseling through real-time audio-video conferencing technology.  

Although a remote site is operated by a pharmacy technician without a pharmacist physically on-site, the pharmacist at the central site directly supervises all activities at the remote site through the use of audio video conferencing technology.

Eligibility Criteria FOR THIS LICENCE TYPE 
  1. The telepharmacy must be located in a rural and/or remote community.  See Schedule H for the eligible communities.
  2. The telepharmacy must be the only telepharmacy or community pharmacy in the community and the next closest telepharmacy or community pharmacy must be at least 25 kilometers from the proposed telepharmacy.
  3. The telepharmacy must be staffed with at least one pharmacy technician during all hours of the telepharmacy operation under the direct supervision of a pharmacist at the central site using real-time audio- video conferencing technology.
  4. The New Telepharmacy Licence applicant must own a licenced community pharmacy which will be the central pharmacy servicing the telepharmacy.
Application Process

A summary of the process and requirements to open telepharmacy is listed below.  Read the “Opening a New Pharmacy” section in the Pharmacy Licensure Guide for details before you start applying.

  1. Submit Phase 1 Requirements: Ownership/Manager Requirements and Telepharmacy Diagram
    1. Apply for New Telepharmacy Licence
      Submit the following documents and refer to the appropriate section in the Pharmacy Licensure Guide for more information:
      1. PODSA Form 2: Application for New Telepharmacy Licence – Community and fees;
         
      2. Telepharmacy diagram - Use this checklist or Appendix D to ensure that all requirements are included in the pharmacy diagram;
         
      3. Ownership documents - Refer to the “Ownership Information” section for more information;
         
      4. Signed copy of the attestation using  PODSA Form 5: Manager/Direct Owner/Indirect Owner – Proof of Eligibility from each applicable direct/indirect owner (Refer to the “Who needs to submit Proof of Eligibility” section for more information);
         
      5. Signed copy of the attestation using  PODSA Form 5: Manager/Direct Owner/Indirect Owner – Proof of Eligibility from the central pharmacy manager.

       

      Allow up to 14 days for processing.

      When processing is complete, the manager and all applicable direct/indirect owners will receive instructions via email to complete their Criminal Record History if one has not be done with the College in the previous 5 years.

    2. Submit Criminal Record History (CRH) to Complete Proof of Eligibility

      The manager and all applicable direct/indirect owners should complete their Criminal Record History (if required) as soon as possible upon receipt of the email from the College.

      It will take up to 7 days to process a Criminal Record History result

    When all the requirements for Phase 1 are met, Health Insurance BC (HIBC) of the Ministry of Health will be notified.  You will also receive a notification via email and may start building your telepharmacy according to the approved telepharmacy diagram.

  2. Build the Telepharmacy

    Build the new telepharmacy as drawn in the diagram approved by the College.

    Notify the College at licensure@bcpharmacists.org if there is a change in the original diagram submitted or the proposed opening date that was originally indicated in your Application for New Telepharmacy Licence to avoid delays in the next phase of the process.

  3. Phase 2: Pharmacy Pre-Opening
    1. Submit Pre-Opening Documents
      Complete and submit the following documents at least 45 days prior to the proposed licensure date:
      1. Pharmacy Pre-Opening Inspection Report (Telepharmacy - Community) with supporting digital evidence using this powerpoint template: Digital evidence submission form - Telepharmacy 

         

        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 “Pre-Opening Inspection Report and Digital Evidence” section and Appendix G for more information.

      2. A copy of the telepharmacy’s business licence issued to the direct owner - Refer to the “Business Licence” section for more information
         
      3. Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures

       

      Allow up to 14 days for processing.

      Upon approval of the pre-opening documents by the College, an email notification will be sent to the authorized representative to schedule an on-site pre-opening inspection at the central pharmacy and the telepharmacy (if required) within 30 days before the proposed licensure date.
       

    2. On-site Pre-Opening Inspection by College Inspector

      A College inspector will conduct a scheduled pre-opening inspection at the central pharmacy and the telepharmacy (if required) using the pre-opening inspection report submitted in Step 3(a).

      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 authorized representative will be notified by email when the telepharmacy is authorized to open.  A telepharmacy licence will be issued and HIBC will also be notified.

The first telepharmacy licence will be pro-rated and valid until the expiry date of the pharmacy licence of the central pharmacy.  Subsequent telepharmacy licences will be valid for 12 months and must be renewed through eServices annually no later than 30 days before the expiry date. An email notification will be sent to the authorized representative(s) approximately 60 days before the telepharmacy licence expires. Ensure that your email contact information on eServices is always up-to-date.