Applying for a pharmacy licence

With a Licence to Operate Pharmacy, the licensee can order stock for the pharmacy and engage at pharmacy practice at the site specified in the licence.

In particular circumstances the licensing authority can restrict or prohibit the licensee from undertaking any specified activity or providing any specified service.

The information on this page is relevant to applicants who wish to:

  • open a new pharmacy
  • renew their current Licence to Operate Pharmacy
  • purchase an existing pharmacy
  • change the ownership of a pharmacy
  • amalgamate two or more pharmacies
  • relocate a pharmacy

To ensure continuity between the existing and the new licence, it is ideal for the application and payment to be received by Medicines Control at least one month (no more than three months) before the expiry of the existing licence.


The correct form must be used. Form 1A is used for those applying on behalf of a company. Form 1B is to be used by those applying on behalf of an individual or a body corporate (eg, DHBs, Friendly Societies). These can be downloaded below, or are available upon request from Medicines Control on 04 496 2579.

A statutory declaration that the information in the application is true and correct at the time of writing is required for each application made.

Renewal packs

Renewal Packs are sent to all current licensees two months before the expiry of their current licence for their convenience.

The Renewal pack contains:

  • a covering letter,
  • a pre-populated application form,
  • an invoice,
  • guidance notes.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the application is received by Medicines Control on time. If you do not receive a renewal pack, please either contact the Medicines Control office or use the application form on this website.

Applications not received

Failure to send in an application to renew the licence before the expiry of a current licence means that the pharmacy will be operating without a current licence. Trading without a current Licence to Operate Pharmacy is in breach of section 17 of the Medicines Act 1981 and any person doing so is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000.

Failure to submit a completed application could result in the closure of the pharmacy for operating without a current licence.

Request for additional information

During the licensing process, the Licensing Authority has the power to require further information and may require an applicant to supply information additional to that contained in the application, for example in regard to:

  • determining the nature of the interest held by any person in the pharmacy
  • the requirement for a person to be a 'fit and proper' person or a body corporate to be of 'good repute'
  • the ownership structure of the pharmacy

If the applicant fails to supply the information within 30 days of the date of the request (or within any additional time given by the Licensing Authority) the application will lapse. This requires the applicant to submit a new application and fee.

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