Closing a pharmacy business

If a pharmacy is ceasing trading or closing for an extended period (such as for renovation or relocation), there are requirements for the management of both stock and records relating to scheduled medicines.

The pharmacist nominated as having overall responsibility under the Pharmacy Act 2010 (external site) must ensure the following steps are taken:

  • Advise the Pharmacy Registration Board of Western Australia of the intention to close at least 14 days before the planned date of closure. Detailed information about the proprietor’s responsibilities under the Pharmacy Act 2010 is available from the Pharmacy Registration Board (external site). Pharmacies authorised to dispense opioid substitution therapy must advise the Community Pharmacotherapy Program and the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch at least one month prior to closure of the pharmacy to facilitate transfer of clients. Further detail is available in the Clinical Policies and Procedures (external site) for the program.
  • If the pharmacy holds any repeats for Schedule 8 medicines that are awaiting dispensing, transfer to another pharmacy must be arranged. The approval of the Department is required before transferring the repeats. Pharmacies holding only a few repeats should complete the application form (Word 810KB). If a large number of repeats are held, contact the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch for advice.
  • Arrange for secure storage of all records pertaining to scheduled medicines. This includes original dispensed prescriptions and repeats, any electronic copies of prescriptions, electronic or hard copy dispensing records, copies of stock orders and invoices and Schedule 8 Registers. Advise the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch of the location of the records, in case the Department needs to access them. Remember Schedule 4 records must be kept for at least 2 years and Schedule 8 records for at least 5 years. Schedule 8 records made prior to 30 January 2017 must be kept for at least 7 years from the date of the record.
  • Although transfer of stock between pharmacies is not usually allowed, a one off transfer of stock will generally be approved by the Department when a pharmacy is closing. Prior to transferring the stock, pharmacies should provide a list of the Schedule 8 medicines (including the quantity of each item) to be transferred and the name of the pharmacy receiving the stock. A final inventory and record of the transfer must be made in the Schedule 8 Register. Pharmacies should ensure a final Schedule 8 report is submitted for the period from the last month’s report to the date of closure.
  • Rural pharmacies, in particular, may wish to notify other local healthcare providers and pharmacies in nearby towns of their impending closure.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883
Email: poisons@health.wa.gov.au

Produced by

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch