New PODSA Ownership Requirements: Preparing for Pharmacy Licence Renewals during the Transition Period
Approximately 96% of community pharmacies in BC are owned by corporations. To bring these pharmacies into compliance with the new pharmacy ownership requirements, pharmacies whose direct owners are corporations will need to submit additional information as part of the pharmacy licence renewal process during the transition period.
This transition period began with pharmacies with a licence expiry date of June 30, 2018, and ends with those with a licence expiry of May 2019.
All pharmacy licenses must be renewed on an annual basis, and all requirements must be submitted no later than 30 days before their licence expiry date.
During the transition period, an email notification will be sent to all of the authorized representatives of the pharmacy approximately 75 days (i.e. 2.5 months) before the pharmacy licence expires.
To help the many corporate owned pharmacies move through the transition, this article outlines some of the main considerations and tasks involved in preparing for pharmacy licence renewal during the transition period.
Understanding the ownership structure of your pharmacy
One of the major causes of delay in the processing of pharmacy licence renewal applications can be a misunderstanding of the requirements associated with each pharmacy ownership type, resulting in both missing and incorrect documentation.
Corporate-owned community pharmacies are comprised of both direct and indirect owners.
Direct owners are the holders of the pharmacy licence. They are the first level of ownership that the College looks at when reviewing the required ownership documents. For corporate-owned pharmacies, the direct owner is the corporation.
The direct owner of your pharmacy will be listed on the paper copy of your pharmacy licence next to “Pharmacy Owner” or “Direct Owner,” depending on the version of licence you have.
Indirect owners include the directors, officers and shareholders* of the direct owner. Additionally, if a shareholder of the direct owner is a non-publicly traded BC Corporation (i.e. a parent or holding company), the directors, officers and shareholders of that company will also be considered indirect owners.
*not an indirect owner if the direct owner is a publicly traded BC corporation.
Authorized Representatives are individuals who can represent the pharmacy’s direct owner in the collection and submission of any and all information required to complete the pharmacy renewal application. For corporate-owned pharmacies, these are usually the directors of the direct owner.
Authorized Representatives will be listed as “Corporate Directors” on the paper copy of your pharmacy licence.
If there is more than one authorized representative within a direct owner corporation, they must decide among themselves who will be responsible for collecting all required documentation and who will be responsible for submitting the pharmacy licence renewal application and required documentation on eServices.
Collecting all required documents
BC Company Summary
If you are an authorized representative responsible for collecting all the required documentation, you will first need to obtain the direct owner’s BC Company Summary generated form the annual report that was last filed with the BC government.
Once you have obtained a copy of the BC Company Summary, review the names of the directors and officers in the document. If they are correct, and if your corporation does not need to file another annual report before your pharmacy licence is due for renewal, you may submit this copy as part of your pharmacy licence renewal application.
If the names of the directors and officers are listed correctly, but your next annual report is due for filing before your pharmacy licence is due, you must obtain another copy of the BC Company Summary after filing your annual report. This most recent copy is to be submitted as part of your pharmacy licence renewal application.
If the listing of the directors on your BC Company Summary is incorrect, you will have to update the list by filing a Notice of Change of Director with the BC government and completing the College’s Change of Indirect Owner process immediately.
You can order a BC Company Summary through a legal search house or Corporate Online on the BC Registry Services site. The summary is provided in pdf format and can be delivered by email. If you are not sure how to obtain your BC Company Summary, speak with the lawyer or the law firm who incorporated your company.
See below or click here for an example of the BC Company Summary:
Central Securities Register (CSR)
An authorized representative will also need to find and confirm the names of the shareholders as listed in the direct owner’s Central Securities Register (or Shareholders Register) if the direct owner and any of the shareholders (i.e. the “parent company”) is a BC incorporated, non-publicly traded corporation.
A company must maintain a Central Securities Register (CSR) in accordance with the requirements in the Business Corporations Act. You can obtain this document from either the lawyer or law firm who incorporated your company, or from the individual who is responsible for maintaining this document within your corporation.
Once you have obtained the original copy of the CSR, review the names of each shareholder in the document. If they are correct and up-to-date, bring the original document to a lawyer or notary public and have it certified as a true copy of the original document.
If the names listed are incorrect, speak with the individual responsible for maintaining the CSR to have it updated. Then bring the updated document to a lawyer or notary public and have it certified as a true copy of the original document. Here is an example (looks may vary):
Please note that submitting a CSR that is not certified will delay the processing of the pharmacy licence renewal application.
If a shareholder is a non-publicly traded corporation in BC (i.e. the “parent company”), the authorized representative will have to identify all the indirect owners of that corporation (i.e. directors, officers and shareholders) by obtaining both their BC Company Summary and Central Securities Register. You will also have to obtain the names and email addresses of the directors, officers and shareholders of that corporation using page 2 of the PODSA Form 7: Indirect Owner – Email Contacts.
You must continue this process until there are no more shareholders of a corporation that are BC incorporated, non-publicly traded corporations.
Use this table as a quick reference on the document requirements for the pharmacy licence renewal application.
|BC Company Summary||
||Identifies directors and officers|
|Central Securities Register||
Indirect Owner Information and Proof of Eligibility
Once you have the names of all current directors, officers and shareholders as listed on your BC Company Summary(ies) and Central Securities Register(s), you must contact each of them to collect the following information for submission to the College:
- Confirmation that the name they have listed is their legal name (if not, updating with the BC government will be required);
- Whether or not they are a pharmacy professional registered with the College;
- Their registration number or eServices ID with the College (if known);
- Their email address
As an authorized representative, you may find it useful to use page 1 of PODSA Form 7: Indirect Owner – Email Contacts for recording the reuiqred information that you will have to enter on eServices at the time of renewal.
Authorized representatives must also notify directors, officers and shareholders that they will have to complete their Proof of Eligibility on the College’s secure website 30 days before the pharmacy licence expires, upon receipt of the emailed notice.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE MANAGER!
With the responsibility for submitting the pharmacy licence renewal application shifting from the pharmacy manager to the direct owner, it is important that pharmacy managers are kept aware of which authorized representative will be submitting the application upon receipt of the renewal notice.
As the pharmacy’s business licence can still be submitted to the College by either the authorized representative, or the pharmacy manager, it is important that this responsibility be appropriately delegated.
NEW PHARMACY OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENTS READLINKS SERIES
Watch for additional New Pharmacy Ownership Requirements articles in the months ahead on ReadLinks. These articles feature important new requirements for pharmacy licensure and renewals to help pharmacies prepare to meet the new requirements.