A reminder that pharmacists have a responsibility to notify the Council of certain events. This includes notifying the Council of the intention to acquire a financial interest in a pharmacy business 14 days before the interest is acquired (Clause 4(1) of Schedule 5F Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW).
The financial interest can be acquired as a sole owner, partner in a pharmacist partnership, director or member in a pharmacists’ body corporate, or unitholder or beneficiary of a trust.
Notice to the Council is by way of the relevant form depending on the particular circumstance; either application for change of pharmacy ownership (where purchaser is sole owner, partner, or includes a pharmacists body corporate in the business structure); or application for acquisition of financial interest as shareholder/director in an existing pharmacists body corporate; or application for acquisition of financial interest in an existing pharmacy business as a unit holder or beneficiary of a Trust, where the Trustee carries on the pharmacy business.
Failure to notify the Council of the intended acquisition or to register a financial interest is a breach of clause 4(1) of schedule 5F of the National Law which may attract a maximum fine of 50 penalty units or $5500.
It is important to note that a pharmacy business is not permitted to operate unless all financial interest holders in the business are registered with the Council (clause 3(1)(a) of schedule 5F of the National Law). A breach of this clause may attract a maximum fine of 50 penalty units or $5500.
A similar obligation exists if disposing of an interest. A pharmacist who has disposed of his/her financial interest in a pharmacy business must notify the Council within 14 days of the disposal - by way of a Notice of disposal of financial interest in a pharmacy business.
The Council regards breaches of the National Law as matters of serious concern. Each pharmacist with a financial interest in the pharmacy business shares responsibility in ensuring that all intended financial interest holders in the business comply with the National Law and are registered with the Council.
For more information, please refer to The Guide which is available on the Council’s website. If after reading The Guide further guidance is required, please contact Council staff by email at email@example.com or by phone 1300 197 177.