Open a New Pharmacy
All pharmacies operating in Newfoundland and Labrador must be licensed by Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board (NLPB). If you are planning to open a pharmacy in the province, please contact NLPB for more information at least 90 days before any intended opening.
Before you submit your application
- Designate a Pharmacist-in-Charge
In order to operate a pharmacy in Newfoundland and Labrador, the pharmacy must have a designated pharmacist-in-charge (PIC). The PIC is the license-holder of the pharmacy and is responsible for establishing and implementing policies and procedures for a given pharmacy and for ensuring that the pharmacy provides safe and quality services in accordance with the Pharmacy Act, 2012, Regulations, Standards of Pharmacy Operation, Standards of Practice, other applicable provincial and federal legislation, and any other requirements established by the Board. For more information regarding the requirements for being designated pharmacist-in-charge or to apply for authorization, please review the Authorization to be Designated Pharmacist-in-Charge section of the Authorization for Registrants page of this website.
- Review Legislation, Standards, and Guidelines
Submit your application
If you are planning to open a pharmacy in Newfoundland and Labrador, complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) at least 90 days prior to the date the pharmacy is scheduled to open:
Schedule an assessment
Once your application is approved, NLPB staff will contact the pharmacist-in-charge to schedule a pre-opening site visit. The pharmacist-in-charge must complete and submit the following self-assessment at least one week prior to the scheduled visit:
Connect to the Pharmacy Network
All pharmacies operating within the province are required to be connected to the provincial electronic health record via the Pharmacy Network. To arrange a connection prior to opening, contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information.
Change the Pharmacy Licence
The pharmacist-in-charge (PIC) is required to notify NLPB of any changes to licensing information that was provided upon opening or renewal. This includes but is not limited to changes to the pharmacy name, location, and staffing.
Existing pharmacies that plan to change the name of the pharmacy with no change in ownership must complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) prior to the date the name change is to take place:
Existing pharmacies that plan to change the physical location or civic address of the premises with no change in ownership must complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) and a detailed diagram of the layout of the new pharmacy at least 15 days prior to relocating the pharmacy:
Schedule an assessment
Once your application is approved, NLPB staff will contact the pharmacist-in-charge to schedule an inspection of the new pharmacy location. The pharmacist-in-charge must complete and submit the following self-assessment prior to the scheduled visit:
Notify the Public
The public must be effectively notified, by way of advertising and/or signage, of the location of the new premises and the date of the location change. In addition, all signs must be removed from the previous location upon relocation of the pharmacy.
For more information regarding the requirements for relocating a pharmacy, please review the Requirements When Relocating a Pharmacy Policy.
Existing pharmacies that plan to make any physical alterations to the dispensary, patient consultation area(s), and/or professional products area(s) of an existing pharmacy location, including alterations that enable separating the dispensary from the larger premises (i.e. lock & leave), must complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) and a detailed diagram of the layout of the renovated pharmacy/dispensary at least 15 days prior to initiating any renovations to the pharmacy/dispensary:
Schedule an assessment
Once your application is approved, NLPB staff will contact the pharmacist-in-charge to schedule an inspection of the completed renovations. The pharmacist-in-charge may be required to complete and submit the following self-assessment prior to the scheduled visit:
For more information regarding the requirements for renovating a pharmacy/dispensary, please review the Requirements When Renovating an Existing Pharmacy/Dispensary Policy.
Existing pharmacies whose current pharmacist-in-charge will be leaving the pharmacy and will be replaced with a new pharmacist-in-charge must complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) at least 30 days prior to initiating any renovations to the pharmacy/dispensary:
The proposed new pharmacist-in-charge must be eligible to be designated as pharmacist-in-charge in accordance with the NLPB Requirements for Authorization to be Designated Pharmacist-in-Charge and have submitted an application to be authorized as such.
Change Pharmacy Ownership
In accordance with provincial legislation, for pharmacy ownership changes, the existing pharmacy licence must be terminated and a new pharmacy licence issued. The pharmacist-in-charge and owners acquiring the pharmacy must jointly complete and submit the following application with all relevant fees (see Fees & Timelines for a list of fees) at least 30 days prior to the expected ownership change:
For more information regarding the requirements for changing pharmacy ownership, including the responsibilities of the pharmacists-in-charge of the selling pharmacy and the new pharmacy, please review the Change in Pharmacy Ownership Policy.
Closing a Pharmacy
Temporary closure of community pharmacies has the potential to have a significant adverse patient impact. In accordance with the NLPB Code of Ethics, pharmacy professionals have an obligation to provide patients under their care with access to medications, pharmacy services, and medication records, when needed and/or requested. Before opting to temporarily close, pharmacists-in-charge are expected to explore all possible options for the pharmacy to remain open and continue to provide safe, quality care to patients. However, there may be certain situations where a temporary closure is required.
Planned Temporary Closure
A temporary closure is permissible without surrendering the pharmacy licence where a pharmacist staff member requires a leave of absence and the pharmacy owner or pharmacist-in-charge is unable to find sufficient relief staff to support continued operations. The pharmacist-in-charge must complete and submit the following application at least 30 days prior to the start date of the temporary closure:
Unplanned Temporary Closure
In emergency situations, a temporary closure is permissible for up to 90 days without surrendering the pharmacist licence. These situations may include but are not limited to the sudden illness of a pharmacist, severe weather conditions, physical damage to the pharmacy, or public health emergencies. NLPB must be notified of the closure as soon as possible, including the circumstances surrounding the closure, plans to maintain the security of the premises, plans to make pharmacy records accessible if needed, and the anticipated reopening date. The pharmacist-in-charge must notify NLPB prior to re-opening the pharmacy.
If the closure exceeds 90 days, the pharmacist-in-charge must contact NLPB to discuss the next steps, as the pharmacy will have to be permanently closed and the licence must be terminated. The pharmacy may be able to re-open in the future under a new pharmacy licence.
In the case of temporary closure:
- Alternate arrangements must be made for specific services such as the provisions of services to personal care homes, specialized compounding services, opioid agonist maintenance treatment services, and in circumstances where the pharmacy is the only one in the community. This may include consultations with prescribers and other members of the healthcare team, pharmacies in nearby communities, and the regional health authority to determine alternative options to medication access and delivery of health services.
- If possible, patients who have prescriptions ready for pick-up must be notified prior to the closure. Prescriptions not picked up before the closure must be canceled in the pharmacy’s practice management system and the electronic health record to allow the patient to access the medication at another pharmacy.
- Once the application is approved or the emergency closure commences, signage indicating the scheduled or anticipated start and end dates of the closure must be posted in a prominent location at the front entrance of the pharmacy and at the dispensary (if the pharmacy is still open) at the earliest possible opportunity. The signage at the front entrance must remain in place for the duration of the closure. Additional information necessary to promote access to pharmacy services during the closure should also be included on the signage, such as an emergency phone number or the location of the nearest pharmacy.
For more information regarding the requirements for a temporary pharmacy closure, please review the Temporary Pharmacy Closure Policy.
If you intend on permanently closing your pharmacy, please contact NLPB at least 30 days prior to the intended date of closure.