College Contact: Professional Practice
Remote dispensing location
A place where drugs are dispensed or sold by retail to the public under the supervision of a pharmacist who is not physically present.
Remote Dispensing Locations – Designated Manager’s Responsibility
Remote dispensing locations are operated by an accredited pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist who is not physically present. All standards of accreditation that apply to a pharmacy are also applicable to a remote dispensing location unless otherwise specified.Remote dispensing locations also have additional requirements that must be met to ensure the safe delivery of medication to the public.
The guidance provided here should be read in conjunction with the relevant requirements as outlined in the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act (O. Reg. 264/16):
Requirements to Consider before Opening a Remote Dispensing Location:
- The Opening a New Remote Dispensing Location webpage provides step-by-step instructions on the application process.
- The checklists for Opening a New Pharmacy, Opening a Remote Dispensing Location for a Dispensary staffed by a Pharmacy Technician or Opening a Remote Dispensing Location with an Automated Pharmacy System (APS) provide further details regarding requirements for meeting Standards of Accreditation and Operation.
- The Required Signage in a Pharmacy Policy outlines the required signage at a remote dispensing location.
- The Frequently Asked Questions Remote Dispensing provides further details on operational requirements.
The Designated Manager is responsible for ensuring that all drugs loaded into the automated pharmacy system are loaded accurately, are stored safely and appropriately and in a manner that maintains the integrity of the drug.
The remote dispensing location should be inspected as required to ensure the safety of drug storage and operation of all automated pharmacy systems and other technology. Inspections are to be carried out by the designated manager of the accredited pharmacy or their delegate who is a registrant and does not regularly work at the remote dispensing location. Site inspections should include a review of the following:
- Testing of all automated pharmacy systems and other equipment, including audio-visual links;
- Inspection of all the drugs to ensure proper storage conditions are being maintained, and the prompt removal of outdated or damaged drugs from the inventory;
- Verification that policies and procedures are being followed and regulatory requirements are being met.
Additional Record-Keeping Requirements
In addition to those record keeping requirements outlined in the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act (O. Reg. 264/16), the Pharmacy Act (O. reg. 202/94) and the Record Retention, Disclosure and Disposal Guideline, a pharmacy operating a remote dispensing location is also required to keep records of on-site inspections and other documents.The following records and documents must be maintained by the pharmacy for each remote dispensing location that the pharmacy operates:
- A record of all testing done on any automated pharmacy system;
- A record of all maintenance done on any automated pharmacy system;
- A record of all technical malfunctions in any automated pharmacy system including the cause of the malfunction, actions taken to rectify the malfunction and outcome of repairs;
- All documentation received from the manufacturer or vendor of an automated pharmacy system, including the name of the manufacturer, the model number, a description of how the machine operates and an operating manual; and
- All written policies and procedures with respect to the operation of automated pharmacy systems at the remote dispensing location.