Required Reference Guide for Ontario Pharmacies (Pharmacy Library)

Updated September 2018

Legislative Reference: Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, Ontario Regulation 264/16


It is a standard of accreditation for a pharmacy to have available the references and resources that are required by members practicing in the pharmacy to meet the standards of practice of the profession and to support the pharmacy services the members provide.

Council has approved the use of electronic and web-based library reference materials as an alternative to hard copy texts. Regardless of the format chosen, the Designated Manager/delegate must ensure sources of information are readily accessible and freely available to the pharmacy staff working in the pharmacy.

Ontario College of Pharmacists and Regulatory Publications

Pharmacy professionals must have access to, and should be familiar with navigating, the OCP website.

Links to current legislation and OCP references are located under Regulations & Standards, including, but not limited to:

Library Requirements

To enable members to meet the standards of practice, at a minimum, every pharmacy1 should have at least one reference in each of the following areas:

  • A Canadian Drug Reference / Compendium
  • A Drug Interaction Publication
  • A Drug Therapy Publication
  • A Patient Counselling Guide
  • Additional references should be selected based on the pharmacy’s patient population to support the specific services provided. For example: natural health products, pediatrics, compounding, geriatrics, etc.

The College does not recommend a particular reference in any area. It is up to the Designated Manager/delegate to research and compare the different options available and to select the appropriate references for the pharmacy.

1Note that this section does not apply to remote dispensing locations (RDLs) where all drugs are dispensed from an automated pharmacy system as the accredited pharmacy operating the RDL must have the required resources to support pharmacy services for both the accredited
pharmacy and the RDL.


As practice is constantly evolving, it is critical that the reference is the current edition or latest version available, and is updated regularly. The selection of references should be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure each remains relevant and suitable for its intended purpose. Textbooks may be procured from various sources, such as directly from the publisher, the bookstore of a local university, or various retail outlets including on-line booksellers. The College does not evaluate or endorse suppliers.