The Pharmacy Council of NSW is responsible for regulating pharmacy businesses and maintaining the register of pharmacies in NSW.
This includes reviewing and approving pharmacy financial interest and pharmacy premises applications.
An application is required for:
- relocation or expansion / reduction of existing pharmacy premises
- approval of new pharmacy premises
- approval of a professional services room in association with a pharmacy business
- change in ownership structure, including purchase of a pharmacy business
- acquisition of financial interest in an existing pharmacy business or a pharmacists’ body corporate.
Applications must be complete and compliant with legislative requirements to be considered for approval. The application forms set out the required information and the fee to be paid.
During review of an application, additional documents or further information may be required by the Council to determine compliance.
An application may remain incomplete for an extended period if an applicant does not respond to requests for necessary information or documentation.
Where repeated requests and attempts are made to obtain required information or documentation, and the applicant has not provided this information, the Council has adopted a position of closing the application and returning the fee.
Applicants will be advised of an intention to close an application, following earlier unsuccessful attempts to obtain required information and documentation, unless a response is provided by the due date.
Timeframes may be extended on a case-by-case basis if there are complexities that need to be resolved, or where a reasonable explanation is provided.
Under Schedule 5F of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) a person cannot carry on a pharmacy business in NSW unless the premises has current approval and all the holders of a financial interest in the pharmacy business are registered pharmacists.
The Council must comprehensively review applications to ensure legislative requirements are met. More complex applications, such as applications involving franchise agreements and complex loan or business structures, are likely to need legal review.
The Council is required to consider and decide an application in a timely manner. The process can become protracted and decisions can be delayed where applicants do not respond to requests for information or where documents are missing or incomplete.
To expedite management of applications, and to also assist timely review of applications where all the required information and documentation has been provided, the Council has adopted a position of closing incomplete applications after reasonable steps are taken to obtain the required information or documentation.
Applicants can assist timely review of applications by ensuring that:
- the correct form for the pharmacy ownership structure is submitted
- the form is complete and correct
- all parties have signed the form where required
- all supporting documents are included in the application – refer to the checklist in the form
- documents submitted are final (not draft) and signed and dated
- a diagram of the ownership structure is included if it is a complex ownership structure
- the contact listed on the form is the best person to liaise with the Council team if further information or clarification is needed
- responding quickly and fully to requests for additional information, documentation or clarification.