Community Pharmacy Licensing

Community pharmacies in the ACT need to be licensed under the Public Health Act 1997. You are also required to comply with the Public Health (Community Pharmacy) Code of Practice 2016.

A pharmacy business owner must be a pharmacist, a complying pharmacy corporation or a former corporate pharmacist in accordance with the Public Health Act 1997.

Failure to have a licence may render a community pharmacy owner liable for penalties or other enforcement action under the Public Health Act 1997.

You can find copies of the relevant legislation and the Code of Practice on the ACT Legislation Register.

Please contact us on 02 5124 9208 for more information.

Please apply online for a Community Pharmacy Licence under the Public Health Act 1997.

The fees for a Community Pharmacy Licence are as follows:

  • new licence fee - $625
  • renewal of licence (annual) fee - $625
  • transfer of ownership fee - $374

Please see the links below for more information:

Storage of Dispensed Prescriptions Offsite

Section 120 of the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 states community pharmacies must keep dispensed prescriptions at the pharmacy for 2 years from the dispensing date.

You can submit an Application to Store Dispensed Prescriptions Offsite to the Chief Health Officer.

Community pharmacies are responsible for ensuring all prescriptions are stored in a way to protect them from loss, interference or misuse. This is in line with the privacy principles in the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997.

Pharmacy Inspections

We perform routine pharmacy inspections to assess a business against legislative requirements set out in the Public Health Act 1997 and the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008.

Inspections can occur at any reasonable time without prior notice. You have the right to ask any inspecting officer to produce their identity card and ask questions about the inspection or pharmacy regulation.

Opioid Treatment Centre Licences


Community pharmacies in the ACT must be licensed to dispense methadone, buprenorphine or buprenorphine/naloxone for treatment of drug dependency. Pharmacists can apply to HPS to obtain an Opioid Dependency Treatment Centre Licence. You can apply for this by submitting an Application for Opioid Dependency Treatment Centre Licence (Pharmacist).

You must also dispense methadone, buprenorphine or buprenorphine/naloxone in line with the National Guidelines for Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence. You should also comply with the Opioid Maintenance Treatment in the ACT: Local Policies and Procedures wherever possible.

All pharmacists dispensing treatment must successfully complete training for the safe administration and dispensing of opioid maintenance treatment. These requirements are outlined in the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods (Guidelines for treatment of opioid dependency) Approval.

You can access local contacts and program related information from the Alcohol and Drug Services webpage.

Page last updated on: 6 Feb 2019