Pharmacy Licensing Compliance Guide

Learn about licensing requirements for pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmacy Licensing Compliance
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Like many professional industries, pharmaceutical work requires a unique set of licenses. Whether you are a manager of a pharmacy practice, an employee within a pharmacy, or a recent graduate starting your career, you will face certification and licensing requirements at every level of your career.

Adhering to professional licensing requirements is key to maintaining your legal authority to practice pharmacy. Beyond that, full compliance demonstrates that you have the medical skills and judgement to ensure the health and safety of those who rely on your services as a pharmacist. Failing to observe pharmaceutical industry requirements can result in state imposed penalties and even denial, revocation, or suspension of your license.

The good news? An experienced, dedicated compliance partner can help you take a proactive approach to maintaining pharmacy licensure and certification. Contact Harbor Compliance today to help you simplify the professional licensing process.

The following guide contains an overview of pharmaceutical licensing and specific board requirements in each state.

Pharmacy License Classifications

Pharmacy licenses generally fall into 3 categories: Pharmacy facility, Wholesaler/Distributor, and Other. Pharmacy state licensing boards vary in how they label license types, so it is important to review the information from the specific state board of pharmacy that you are applying through. The following is a breakdown of licenses that typically appear in these three categories.

Pharmacy

  • In-State Pharmacy
  • Out-of-State Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Clinic
  • Mail Order Pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Limited Prescription Pharmacy
  • Internet Pharmacy

Wholesaler/Manufacturer

  • Wholesale Drug Distributor
  • Manufacturer of Prescription Drugs
  • Medical Gas Distributor
  • Repackager

Other

  • Research and Teaching Institution
  • Home Medical Equipment Service Provider
  • Non-Pharmacy Drug Outlet
  • Other Establishments

Pharmacy Licensing

Overview of Requirements

A business entity offering pharmaceutical services to the public must register with the State Board of Pharmacy and receive the relevant pharmacy license. A pharmacy license is necessary to practice in all states and companies practicing without one can be liable for steep penalty fees and even criminal charges.

Licensure for pharmacies usually follows incorporation or foreign qualification of the business entity with the secretary of state. Common legal structures for companies are corporations or professional corporations (PC), and limited liability companies (LLC) or professional LLCs. Incorporation refers to formation of the business entity, whereas foreign qualification refers to applying for a Certificate of Authority to transact business in another state.

After registration with the secretary of state, companies must apply for a license through the relevant licensing board. Pharmacy industry licenses are generally divided by the types of pharmaceutical services that a pharmacy might provide. For example, New Mexico has 14 different companies licenses ranging from Animal Control and Hospital pharmacy licenses to Wholesale Drug Distributor and Narcotic Treatment Program Facility licenses. Applications and forms vary by state and states don’t always classify pharmacies in the same way. Despite the variation across state licensing boards, there are some requirements that are nearly universal.

Applications almost always require the companies to incorporate or foreign qualify before applying for a pharmacy license. Other common application requirements include: Controlled Substance registration, facility information, and self-inspection forms.

State boards also require companies to have at least one licensed pharmacist employed before applying for a license. This individual is known as the pharmacist in charge. The pharmacist in charge must usually submit proof of licensure and needs to be individually licensed in any additional states that the pharmacy expands to. One notable exception to this rule is Arizona, where out of state pharmacies do not need to have an Arizona licensed pharmacist on staff.

There can also be federal registration requirements for pharmacies. Pharmacies that issue controlled substances should register with the DEA following state level licensure.

Pharmacies Operating in Multiple States

Entities that provide pharmaceutical service to more than one state are required to register in all states that they serve. Out-of-state applications typically have more requirements than in-state applications, and pharmacies must meet these requirements prior to providing service in another state. Proof of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration, resident state pharmacy licenses, and inspection reports are common requirements on out-of-state license applications.

Many states require nonresident pharmacies, including mail order, internet, and out-of-state pharmacies, to report to the state prescription monitoring program (PMP).

Mail Order Pharmacies

Pharmacies that have a brick-and-mortar location in at least one state but ship pharmaceuticals to other states are considered mail-order pharmacies. They require specific licenses in most states.

Internet Pharmacies

Pharmacies that do not have any brick-and-mortar stores but operate entirely online are considered internet pharmacies. In some states, requirements for internet pharmacies overlap with mail order pharmacies. All internet pharmacy applications require a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site program, among many other requirements.

Because pharmacy license requirements are particularly complex, especially for pharmacies operating in multiple states or shipping across states lines, it is best to talk to a compliance specialist to determine which requirements apply to your business.

Initial Registration Fees

Fees for initial licensure range from $75 to $900. Wisconsin’s pharmacy license is only $75, while the District of Columbia’s pharmacy license amounts to $900. The average license fee is around $300.

Renewal Requirements

Pharmacy license renewal varies by state. About half of all states call for licenses to be renewed every two years with the remaining states renewing annually.

Like initial application fees, renewal fees also vary by state. Fees range from just $100 for some West Virginia licenses to $900 in the District of Columbia. Companies can expect to pay closer to the national average of $265 when applying for a license, however, the most commonly applied fee is $200.

Table of Company Licenses

Looking for pharmaceutical certification requirements in a particular jurisdiction? The following table summarizes pharmacy licensing requirements across the United States.

Click on any state for the licensing information specific to that state.The following table summarizes company licensing requirements across the United States. Click on any state for the licensing information specific to that state.

Alabama

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Alabama Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

Fee:

$200 baseline

Form:http://www.albop.com/

License Renewal

Fee:

$100 baseline

Due:

Biennially

Alaska

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Alaska Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$240 baseline

Due:

Biennially

Arizona

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Arizona State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$240 baseline

Filing Method:

Online

Due:

Biennially

Arkansas

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$300 baseline

Due:

By December 31 of odd-numbered years.

California

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

California State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

Fee:

$520 baseline

Form:License Applications

License Renewal

Fee:

$331 baseline

Form:Renewal ApplicationsDue:

Annually

Colorado

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Colorado State Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

The board will notify you of the renewal fee.

Due:October 31 of even years

Connecticut

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Connecticut Commission of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$190

Due:

Annually by August 31.

Delaware

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Delaware Division of Professional Regulation - State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$318 baseline

Due:September 30 of even years

District of Columbia

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

District of Columbia Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

Fee:

$900 for pharmacy, $100 for drug manufacturer

Form:http://doh.dc.gov/node/185862

License Renewal

Fee:

$900

Due:

Biennially

Florida

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Florida Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$255

Due:

Biennially

Georgia

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Georgia State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$600 baseline

Due:

By June 30 of odd-numbered years.

Hawaii

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Hawaii Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$184

Due:

By December 31 of odd-numbered years.

Idaho

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Idaho State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually

Illinois

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation - State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$200

Due:March 31 of even years

Indiana

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Indiana Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$200 baseline

Due:

Biennially

Iowa

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Iowa Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$135

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Kansas

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Kansas State Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Kentucky

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Kentucky Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually

Louisiana

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Louisiana Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$150

Due:

Annually

Maine

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation - Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Maryland

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Maryland Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$700

Due:May 31 of even years

Massachusetts

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$525 baseline

Due:

Biennially

Michigan

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Michigan Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$110

Due:

Inital license expires on the upcoming June 30. Due biennially thereafter.

Minnesota

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Minnesota Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$225

Due:

Annually

Mississippi

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$300 baseline

Due:

Biennially

Missouri

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Missouri Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$450

Due:

Biennially

Montana

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Montana Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$125 baseline

Due:

Annually by November 30.

Nebraska

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Licensure Unit

License Renewal

Fee:

$625

Due:

Annually

Nevada

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Nevada State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$500

Due:

Biennially

New Hampshire

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$250 baseline

Due:

Annually

New Jersey

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$175

Due:

Annually by June 30.

New Mexico

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

New Mexico Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$300 baseline

Due:

Biennially

New York

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

New York State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$260

Due:Varies

North Carolina

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

North Carolina Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by December 31.

North Dakota

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

North Dakota State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$175 baseline

Due:

Annually

Ohio

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$112 baseline

Due:

Annually

Oklahoma

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$150

Oregon

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Oregon State Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$225

Pennsylvania

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$125

Due:

Biennially

Rhode Island

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Rhode Island Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$120 baseline

Due:

Annually

South Carolina

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

South Carolina Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation - Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$100 baseline

Due:

Annually by June 30.

South Dakota

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

South Dakota State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually

Tennessee

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Tennessee Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

Fee:

$310 baseline

Form:

Pharmacy Application Form

License Renewal

Fee:

$310 baseline

Filing Method:

Online

Texas

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Texas State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$451

Due:

Biennially

Utah

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Utah Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$103

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Vermont

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Vermont Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$300

Due:

By July 31 of odd-numbered years.

Virginia

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Virginia Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$270

Washington

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission

License Renewal

Fee:

$405 baseline

Due:

Annually by May 31.

West Virginia

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

West Virginia Board of Pharmacy

License Renewal

Fee:

$100 baseline

Due:

Annually

Wisconsin

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board

License Renewal

Fee:

$128

Due:May 31 of even years

Wyoming

Our Resources:

More Info

Agency

Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$150 baseline

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Controlled Substance Registration - In addition to a pharmacy license, controlled substance registration registration is required in many states for pharmacies that distribute controlled substances.

NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) - Host a variety of programs and resources relating to pharmacist and pharmacy licensure and examination.

Pharmacist in Charge - A licensed pharmacist designated by a pharmacy to act as the party responsible for compliance with regulations.

VPP (Verified Pharmacy Program) - A program run by NABP that allows state boards to share information and more easily register out-of-state pharmacies.

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