Operating a Lock & Leave

‘Lock and Leave’ allows a pharmacy to operate without a pharmacist physically present provided the pharmacy has the ability to ‘completely restrict’ the public from access to any drugs referred to Schedule I, II or III. Any physical impediments or barriers shall be constructed such that the drugs are completely inaccessible to the public. The entire pharmacy area is accredited by OCP and the ‘Lock and Leave’ permits the front shop area of the pharmacy to continue operating and allowing the sale of any drug in the unscheduled category (Schedule U) when the pharmacist is not present.

Pharmacies with an existing Lock and Leave built prior to March 14, 2011 are not required to submit an application to operate the Lock and Leave provided the area complies with the regulations and completely restricts public access to any drug listed in Schedule I, II and III.

New and existing pharmacies that wish to operate a new Lock and Leave must submit an application prior to construction and have the area inspected before use of the Lock and Leave is permitted.

To apply to operate a Lock and Leave as part of a new pharmacy or an existing pharmacy, follow these step by step instructions:

Step 1: Submit an Application for Certificate of Accreditation as a Pharmacy

Complete the Application for Certificate of Accreditation as a Pharmacy and submit it to Pharmacy Applications & Renewals along with a floor plan. The floor plan must be labelled with the following details:

  • Total square footage of area to be accredited – if the pharmacy is part of a larger area, clearly delineate the pharmacy portion and identify how the accredited area is kept secure/physically separate from the non-accredited area
  • Total square footage of dispensary (area behind the counter)
  • Location of required two sinks in the dispensary
  • Location of acoustically private consultation area

Applications may be submitted by email to pharmacyapplications@ocpinfo.com, faxed to 416-847-8399 or mailed to the College to the attention of Pharmacy Applications & Renewals at 483 Huron St, Toronto, ON M5R 2R4.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The College evaluates each person who is an applicant based on the criteria set out in Part III of the Regulations under the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act including an assessment to determine if past and present conduct of the proposed owner(s) affords reasonable grounds for the belief that the pharmacy will be operated with decency, honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law. The College will take whatever time is necessary to complete this assessment. Application processing time varies and a pharmacy’s proposed date of opening is subject to change.

Step 2: Scheduling an Inspection

Once an application has been approved, a community practice advisor will contact the Designated Manager of the pharmacy to schedule an inspection of the Lock and Leave. Please be advised that it may take up to two weeks to schedule an inspection.

Step 3: The Inspection

During the inspection, the pharmacy must demonstrate how the Lock and Leave will operate and how it will ensure that the scheduled drugs are completely inaccessible to the public. If the area is satisfactory, the College will approve the use of that Lock and Leave.

If the area is not satisfactory, the inspection report will be referred to the Accreditation Committee for determination. The Committee can direct the Registrar to refuse or approve the application.

If you have any questions about the accreditation process send an email to pharmacyapplications@ocpinfo.com or call 416-962-4861 ext. 3600