Published: March 2011
Revised: March 2021
Published: March 2011
A “remote dispensing location” means a place where drugs are dispensed or sold by retail to the public under the supervision of a pharmacist who is not physically present.
Yes, the pharmacist must be physically present in the pharmacy that operates the remote dispensing location.
Drugs in Schedule I, II and III may be sold in a remote dispensing location. Schedule III drugs may be available either from an automated pharmacy system or from an area in the remote dispensing location to which the public does not have access. No narcotic and controlled drugs and targeted substances can be located at or available from the RDL.
A holder of a certificate of accreditation in the community pharmacy class can apply for an amended certificate of accreditation that permits the operation of remote dispensing location(s). For more information, please see the Opening a Remote Dispensing Location webpage.
A pharmacy can operate multiple RDL’s but each RDL will have a specific accreditation number. Additional fees for each RDL application will be required and specific standards of accreditation must be met. As with any new store opening, an inspection will take place to ensure the standards are met prior to accreditation approval.
Only the pharmacy whose certificate of accreditation permits the operation of the RDL can operate it at the specific location referred to in the certificate of accreditation. The operation cannot be contracted out to another pharmacy.
The same requirements that apply to any pharmacy must also apply to the RDL which include a dispensary. The pharmacy must be at least 18.6 sq metres and dispensary 9.3 sq metres. A RDL in which all drugs are dispensed and distributed from an automated pharmacy system is not required to have a dispensary or meet the pharmacy size requirements.
RDL must be located in a well-lit and well-ventilated area that is appropriate for the provision of health care services and accessible to the public only during the hours that a pharmacist is physically present in the accredited pharmacy that operates the RDL. There is no restriction regarding proximity to another pharmacy.
As well, if the RDL has an automated dispensing system, it must:
In the case of an automated pharmacy system (APS), the technology used to transmit the prescription must be approved by the College. Methods to ensure verification of physician signature and authenticity of prescriptions remain consistent with all pharmacy practices. Currently, the College has approved the following APS technology: MedCentre. For more information, please see the Opening a Remote Dispensing Location webpage.
Every RDL where a pharmacist is not physically present must be equipped with a live, two-way audio-visual link that permits dialogue and communication between the patient and a pharmacist who is physically present in the accredited pharmacy. In the event of a disruption in this link, all dispensing at the RDL must cease immediately and cannot resume until the link is restored.
In addition to what is required on all prescription labels, the container in which a drug is dispensed from a RDL must indicate both the name, address and telephone number of the accredited pharmacy as well as the address of the RDL including a toll-free number at which a patient may contact the accredited pharmacy. The label must include a unique identifier, attached to the prescription number that identifies that the drug was dispensed from the RDL vs. the accredited pharmacy.