New Requirements for Pharmacy Ownership begin March 1, 2018
In May 2016, the Provincial Government approved amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA). These changes permit the College to know the identity of all pharmacy owners, determine their suitability for pharmacy ownership and to hold them accountable for providing safe and effective care by ensuring their pharmacies are compliant with legislative requirements for pharmacies in BC.
“In many instances, the owners and people involved in running pharmacies are not pharmacists themselves, and not regulated by the College. That’s why the Province introduced the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Amendment Act, which gives the College the tools it needs to better deal with those instances of unscrupulous owners and operations, and to enhance patient safety.”
- Health Minister Terry Lake
These amendments are a result of the College’s request to have more legislative tools to protect patient safety in community pharmacies, and will create the authority for the College to take action against negligent pharmacy owners and prevent unsuitable people from owning or managing community pharmacies in BC.
“While the majority of people involved in pharmacies are honest and ethical, the College needs to have the authority to protect the public from unscrupulous pharmacy owners and operations that put patient safety at risk.”
- Bob Nakagawa, Registrar, College of Pharmacists of BC
As part of the new requirements, pharmacy owners will be required to complete a criminal record history as part of the pharmacy licencing process. The College will have the authority to refuse to issue, renew or reinstate a pharmacy license, or impose conditions on a license if pharmacy owners or the pharmacy manager do not meet the eligibility criteria.
The following would make an ownership application ineligible, or may require that conditions be imposed:
- owner/manager is subject to a limitation imposed by the discipline committee that precludes them from being an owner or manager
- owner/manager within the previous 6 years, has been convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code
- owner/manager owners, within the previous 6 years, has been convicted of an offence prescribed under the Pharmaceutical Services Act,
- owner/manager has been subject to an information or billing contravention,
- owner/manager, within the previous 6 years, has had their registration as a pharmacist suspended or cancelled
New Requirements Come Into Effect March 1, 2018
The College is currently drafting amendments to Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act Bylaws, forms, and related professional practice policies to incorporate the new pharmacy ownership requirements.
The new requirements are planned to come into effect on March 1, 2018.
The College will be providing community pharmacies with information on the transition and how to become compliant with the new pharmacy ownership requirements.
Feedback Needed in Implementation of New Requirements
Stakeholder feedback is needed to help inform the College’s approach to operationalizing the new pharmacy ownership requirements.
The College will be reaching out to related stakeholders to participate in various consultations including an environmental scan of pharmacy ownership models in BC, and workshops/discussions and an online survey to provide feedback on draft bylaws and policies.
Proposed amendments will also be posted on the College’s website for public comment before the bylaws are finalized.
Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved.