Pharmacy licensing

Under the Medicines Act 1981, a Licence to Operate Pharmacy authorises the establishment of a pharmacy at a specified site and to carry out pharmacy practice at that site. These licences are issued by the licensing authority at the Ministry of Health.

No pharmacy may be open to the public unless it is licensed and under the immediate supervision and control of a pharmacist. If a pharmacist is not present and able to exercise direct supervision and control, the pharmacy must close.

The licensing Authority maintains a register of Licences to Operate Pharmacy. This is held and available to view in the office of the licensing authority in Wellington.

In this section

  • Information about the situations where an applicant will need to apply for a pharmacy licence, application forms, and guidance on the application process. Read more
  • Opening a new pharmacy premises or relocating an existing pharmacy to new premises requires a new Licence to Operate Pharmacy. Read more
  • Information on company structures for pharmacies that comply with licensing requirements, restrictions on ownership, and prescriber interests. Read more
  • There are penalties if the licence holder fails to comply with any licence conditions, and penalties relating to making a false statement on the application form. Read more
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