Pharmacy Relocation: What you need to know if relocating an existing pharmacy business

If you wish to relocate an existing pharmacy business, you will need to consider several rules and regulations to ensure your application meets the criteria to be approved.

Even if you have an existing pharmacy business, you still need to apply to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (“ACPA”).

The Pharmacy Location Rules govern the ability of a pharmacist to relocate an approved pharmacy and it cannot be relocated without prior approval from ACPA.

Bear in mind that besides making an application to ACPA, the applicable State or Territory legislation in relation to pharmacy relocation also applies.  That is, you will be required to make an application to the respective State/Territory Board.

For purposes of this article, we will use a Melbourne relocation as an example.

Applicable Legislation for Pharmacy Relocation includes:

National Health (Australian Community Pharmacy Authority Rules) Determination 2018 (PB 46 of 2018) (“the Rules”).

The Rules will depend on the nature of the relocation.

The different types of relocations and associated rules include:

  • Rule 122: Relocation Within a Designated Complex (Small Shopping Centre, Large Shopping Centre, Large Private Hospital or Large Medical Centre);
  • Rules 123: Relocation Within the Same Town (10km)
  • Rules 124: Relocation Up to 1 km
  • Rule 125: Relocation to 1 to 1.5 km

Each Rule has its own criteria.  ACPA require all aspects of each Rule to be satisfied and as such, it is very important when making an application under one of the Rules that care is taken.

When relocating an existing pharmacy, you must apply for registration of the pharmacy premises and a license to carry on a pharmacy business must be lodged with the Victorian Pharmacy Authority (“the Authority”).

Separate licences are required when there is more than own owner.

When your existing pharmacy is relocated, your existing approval will be cancelled, and it will be replaced with a new approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits in the new location.

There are specific rules that apply to a relocation and within those rules an applicant must provide evidence to accompany their application for ACPA approval.

What is the Application Process to Relocate a Pharmacy?

ACPA has designated meetings throughout the year to give proper considerations of applications.

  1. National applications must be prepared for 1. Registration and 2. Licence
  2. State based applications must be prepared for 1. Registration and 2. Licence

What’s the difference between the National and state-based applications?

The content of the applications of ACPA and the Authority tends to be the same however separate applications need to be prepared and lodged

What are the fees involved in a Pharmacy relocation application?

There are separate fees that apply for each application.

How long does a pharmacy relocation application take?

  • Applications are considered by ACPA and State/Territory Board only once per month.
  • You can expect to hear back within one month.
  • More evidence may be requested.
  • Your application can be denied.

Can I apply for Pharmacy relocation on my own? Why should I use a lawyer to do this?

It is important to seek advice/use a lawyer to ensure your proposed new premises fits within the requirements of the applicable Rules and determine what evidence is required to accompany the application for ACPA approval.

The high level of detail in the Rules means attention to detail is key and how the evidence is best presented to ACPA is crucial.

At Burke Lawyers, our lawyers have specific expertise when it comes to pharmacy relocation and the preparation of the correct and necessary documentation to ensure a successful application and seamless approval process.

If you need assistance with your pharmacy relocation, please don’t hesitate to contact Burke Lawyers today on +61 3 9822 8588 or email us HERE.  Our medical and healthcare lawyers are here to assist you.

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