Keeping pharmacy in pharmacy

man holding 'no' sign

Regulators act to stop retailers appropriating the profession’s title

Pharmacy regulators have recently taken action to prevent a non-pharmacy retail franchise from using the word ‘pharmacy’ in their stores.

In it’s latest communique, the Victorian Pharmacy Authority said it, and other state and territory pharmacy registering authorities have “intervened to stop a retail franchise using the word ‘pharmacy’ on in-store promotional materials”.

The VPA said the title ‘pharmacy’ is protected under the Pharmacy Regulation Act 2010.

“Section 34(1) of the Act creates an offence where a person intentionally or recklessly uses the title
“pharmacy”, “pharmacy practice” or “pharmacy business” except in relation to a pharmacy or
pharmacy business to which a licence applies”.

It had previously intervened in cases where vets, pet stores and herbalists had used ‘pharmacy’ in relation to their businesses, the communique stated.

The penalty for a breach of section 34(1) is 60 penalty units and 300 penalty units for a natural person and body corporate respectively.

Meanwhile, the VPA also cautioned applicants for pharmacy business licences to ensure their applications are correct and complete when submitted. 

Some applicants may experience extended processing times, especially when applications involve complex commercial arrangements, it warned, adding that “the Authority also receives some applications which are incomplete or incorrectly completed”.

To avoid potential delays, applicants are advised to:

  • submit applications as early as possible
  • answer all questions carefully and completely
  • ensure that commercial arrangements have been drafted with attention to sections 5 and 11 of the Act (including but not limited to franchise and service agreements, trust deeds, sale agreements, lending and leasing agreements).

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