Annual renewal of pharmacy registration
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a requires pharmacy businesses in New South Wales to be subject to approval of the Pharmacy Council of New South Wales and included on the Register of Pharmacies maintained by the Council.
Maintenance of a current approval is subject to payment of the annual renewal of pharmacy registration fee. The annual registration period for pharmacies is from 1 July to 30 June. Annual renewal notices are posted to 'the proprietor' of each pharmacy in May, with payment of the renewal of registration fee due by 30 June.
Proprietors should note that from 2017 the following will apply:
- Annual renewal payments made by the 30 June due date will result in the approval of pharmacy premises for a further 12 month period to 30 June in following year.
- Annual renewal payments made during July will incur a late fee of $100.00. Payment of the renewal fee and the late fee will result in the approval of pharmacy premises for a further 12 month period to 30 June the following year.
- Annual renewal payments will not be accepted after 31 July. Approval of pharmacy premises will be revoked, the pharmacy will be removed from the Register of Pharmacies and the Department of Human Services/Medicare will be notified if Council has not received payment of the relevant fee by 31 July. Proprietors wishing to obtain a current approval will be required to submit an application for a new pharmacy.
Renewal of pharmacy registrations can be completed online through the Council's website. Users will be requested to login using the username and password provided with the renewal notice.
Declaration of financial interest in a pharmacy business
New Fee - Annual Declaration of Financial Interest in a Pharmacy Business.
An annual declaration of financial Interest in a pharmacy business is the annual declaration that a holder of a financial interest in a NSW pharmacy business must make to the Pharmacy Council of NSW to disclose that interest. Annual Declarations are due by 30 June each year.
In May 2021 annual declaration notices are sent by email to all pharmacists holding a financial interest in a pharmacy business as at 30 April 2021. This year a new fee of $297 for each pharmacy business will apply. Completion of the annual declaration and payment of the fee is due by 30 June 2021 and may be made online via the Council’s website here.
Users will be required to login using the billing number and email address registered with AHPRA.
Pharmacists with a financial interest in a pharmacy business are being issued a single notice listing all pharmacies in which the pharmacist has an interest and the applicable fees. For example, a pharmacist with a financial interest in three pharmacies will receive a single notice identifying the three pharmacy businesses and the total fee of $891. Other examples are provided below. Unlike previous years, an annual declaration is not required if the financial interest in a pharmacy business was disposed of prior to 30 April 2021.
Why was a new fee introduced?
The work of the Council is entirely funded from fees paid by pharmacists registered in NSW and owners of NSW pharmacies. The Council deals with complaints about pharmacists and students in NSW and regulates pharmacy ownership to ensure there is no impermissible financial interest in a pharmacy business. The Council also maintains the Register of Pharmacies and undertakes an inspection program to proactively monitor pharmacies to ensure compliance with legal and other requirements.
The growing complexity in pharmacy ownership business structures has led to a substantial increase in the Council’s expenses over recent years. Commercial documents provided with ownership applications often require legal review to ensure that financial interests are only held by registered pharmacists. Managing annual declarations of financial interests includes the following activities which are not covered by existing fees:
- reviewing the documentation for the annual notices as required
- annually updating The Guide to provide information relating to the process and the relevant fee
- updates / changes to the Register of Pharmacies and website software to accommodate the efficient management of the notification and payment processes
- checking each submitted declaration against the Register of Pharmacies and making updates as required
- following up pharmacists who have not submitted a declaration by the due date
- following up annual declaration mismatches. For example, following up pharmacists who have disposed of a financial interest, closed their pharmacy or changed their pharmacy name but have not submitted the appropriate notice
- processing the disposal of financial interests, changes of name and closed pharmacies and updating the Register of Pharmacies.
The introduction of the new fee will ensure the financial viability of the Council into the future and enable it to continue to fulfil its responsibilities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). The new fee will also ensure that pharmacists who are not pharmacy owners are not subsiding Council’s pharmacy ownership work.
The new fee is provided for in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Schedule 5F Clause 15 (1A) and the fee rate prescribed in the Health Practitioner Regulation (New South Wales) Amendment (Pharmacy Annual Declaration Fee) Regulation 2021 (see relevant extracts below).
A similar fee has applied in Victoria for some years. The Victorian Pharmacy Authority levies a fee known as the ‘Annual Licence – Individual’ which currently stands at $310 per annum. It also levies annual licencing fees for corporate ($700pa) and hospital ($375pa) facilities. These fees are not applicable in NSW. Additional fees are paid for the annual registration of pharmacy businesses, departments and depots in Victoria.
What will happen if I do not complete my annual declaration by the due date?
Failure to submit a declaration by the due date may result in a complaint of unsatisfactory professional conduct and/or a maximum penalty of $2,200.
Instructions for using the annual declaration online facility.
Access to the Council’s annual declaration portal is via the link provided in your Annual Declaration notice. A link is also provided – see above. Instructions to assist in completing the annual declaration will be provided once you have entered the portal. More information is provided below.
- Once you have entered the portal, you will be asked to enter the billing number provided with your notice to start the declaration process.
- Information you provide will be matched against information held in the Register of Pharmacies. You will be notified if there is a mismatch.
- Once you have completed your declaration and made your payment you will be asked to declare the information is true and complete. By confirming ‘I agree’, your declaration will be submitted.
- An electronic receipt will be issued to confirm your payment.
Completion of the annual declaration including payment of the fee is estimated to take no more than 10 minutes.
What do I do if there is a mismatch?
A mismatch occurs if the information you provide in your declaration does not match the information recorded in the Register of Pharmacies. In the event of a mismatch, you may complete the annual declaration and we will then contact you for more information. Alternatively, you may exit the annual declaration portal and contact the Council by email on HPCA-PharmacyCouncilOwnership@health.nsw.gov.au or by phone 1300 197 177 for assistance.
I hold a financial interest in a NSW pharmacy but I did not receive my notice. What do I do?
By 19 May 2021 you should receive an Annual Declaration Notice which will be sent to your personal email address registered with AHPRA. If you have not received a notice and it is not in your junk email folder please contact the Council by email on HPCA-PharmacyCouncilOwnership@health.nsw.gov.au or by phone 1300 197 177 for assistance.
What is a financial interest?
You hold a financial interest in a NSW pharmacy business if you have a direct or indirect monetary interest in that business. Holders of a financial interest include pharmacist proprietors, pharmacists who are partners in a pharmacists’ partnership that owns a pharmacy, pharmacists who are shareholders or directors in a pharmacists’ body corporate that owns a pharmacy, and beneficiaries of a trust that operates in respect of a pharmacists’ body corporate that owns a pharmacy.
When will I receive my pharmacy premises registration renewal notice?
Notices for the annual renewal of registration of pharmacy premises will be sent separately to the pharmacy email address recorded in the Register of Pharmacies and will be addressed to ‘The Proprietor’.
Payment of the annual renewal of registration of pharmacy premises fee is also due by 30 June 2021.
Need more information?
If you have a question or need further information about your notice or the annual declaration process, please contact the Council at:
- Email address: - HPCA-PharmacyCouncilOwnership@health.nsw.gov.au
- Phone - 1300 197 177
EXTRACT FROM THE HEALTH PRACTITIONER REGULATION NATIONAL LAW (NSW)
Schedule 5F Pharmacies; PART 4 Declarations and information
Clause 15 Annual declaration to be submitted [NSW]
(1) A person who holds a financial interest in a pharmacy business must, on or before the declaration date in each year, give to the Council, in the form approved by the Council, a declaration for the declaration period specifying the following information—
(a) the nature of the interest;
(b) the basis on which the person is entitled to hold the interest under this Law (for example, as a pharmacist, a member of a pharmacists’ body corporate, a friendly or other society under clause 6 or a body corporate under clause 7);
(c) the number of pharmacy businesses in which the person has a financial interest;
(d) in relation to each pharmacy business the person owns, a description of the policies or systems in place to ensure safe and competent delivery of pharmacy services;
(e) any other information prescribed by the NSW regulations.
Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.
(1A)The declaration must be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the NSW regulations.
(2) The Council may require the declaration to be verified by statutory declaration.
(3) In this clause—
declaration date means a date notified to pharmacy owners by the Council in writing at least one month in advance.
declaration period means the period of 12 months ending 2 months before the declaration date.
EXTRACT FROM THE HEALTH PRACTITIONER REGULATION (NEW SOUTH WALES) AMENDMENT (PHARMACY ANNUAL DECLARATION FEE) REGULATION 2021
Clause 3 Amendment of Health Practitioner Regulation (New South Wales) Regulation 2016
Clause 15 Pharmacy Fees
Insert after clause 15(2)—
(3) For the purposes of the Law, Schedule 5F, clause 15(1A), the prescribed amount, being the fee to accompany an annual declaration to the Council by a person who holds a financial interest in a pharmacy business, is $297 per pharmacy business.