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.
- The telepharmacy must be located in a rural and/or remote community. See Schedule H for the eligible communities.
- 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.
- 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.
- The New Telepharmacy Licence applicant must own a licenced community pharmacy which will be the central pharmacy servicing the telepharmacy.
- Apply for a New Telepharmacy Licence
Submit the following documents to the College and allow 10 business days for processing:
- Application for New Telepharmacy Licence;
- Telepharmacy diagram – use this checklist to ensure that all requirements are included in the pharmacy diagram
Upon approval of phase 1 of the new telepharmacy 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 Telepharmacy
Build the new telepharmacy as drawn in the diagram approved by the College.
Notify the College at firstname.lastname@example.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.
- Submit Pre-Opening Documents
Upon completion of building the new telepharmacy, complete and submit the following documents:
- Pharmacy Pre-Opening Inspection Report (for Community Telepharmacy) with supporting digital evidence
- Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures
- Telepharmacy'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 - Telepharmacy (word template)
- Digital evidence submission form - Telepharmacy (powerpoint template) *recommended
- 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 telepharmacy pre-opening review at the central pharmacy and/or telepharmacy within the next 20 business days.
- Pre-Opening Inspection
College inspector will conduct a scheduled telepharmacy pre-opening inspection at the central pharmacy and/or telepharmacy 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 telepharmacy.
Once all the above documents are complete and all requirements are met, the pharmacy manager will be notified by email when the telepharmacy is authorized to open. A telepharmacy licence will be issued and HIBC will be notified.
The first telepharmacy licence will be valid until the expiry date of the central pharmacy. Subsequent telepharmacy licences will be valid for 12 months and must be renewed through eServices annually before the expiry date. An email notification will be sent to the owner approximately 45 days before the pharmacy licence expires. Ensure that your owner’s (e.g. directors of a corporation) email contact information on eServices is always up-to-date.