50-State Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Licensing Compliance Guide
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Nonprescription Drug Retailer Permits

Learn about registration requirements for retail distributors of over-the-counter drugs.

Overview of Registration

Businesses that sell nonprescription drugs directly to consumers in Connecticut, Kansas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Washington will typically need to obtain a nonprescription retailer permit prior to selling over-the-counter drugs. While permits are not required in other states, nonprescription retailers may be subject to regulations related to the dispensing of nonprescription drugs.

Permit requirements vary by state, but most applications ask for business entity information, a list of officers and owners of the business, and an application fee. Business entities with more than one nonprescription drug outlet must obtain a separate permit for each outlet location.

In addition to permit requirements, businesses operating nonprescription drug outlets in multiple states will likely need to foreign qualify their entity with the secretary of state and register for taxes with the department of revenue. Corporate income tax, sales tax, withholding tax, and unemployment insurance tax registrations are commonly required when expanding to a new state.

Maintaining Compliance

Nonprescription retailer permits expire annually in every state but Texas, which requires biennial renewal of permits. Along with permit renewal, businesses may also need to submit annual reports to maintain their entity registration with the secretary of state.

In addition to these structured renewal events, retailers must also report address, contact information, and ownership changes as they occur. States typically require these types of changes to be reported within 10 or 20 days of their occurrence. In cases where a single business entity operates multiple nonprescription drug outlets, the permit for each outlet must be updated when entity information changes take place.

Keeping up with each state’s requirements, tracking renewals, and submitting the applications on time are critical to avoiding penalties. Dedicated compliance services and software can help you keep track of varying jurisdiction requirements and relevant updates to state laws.

Explore Licensing by State

Click on a link below to view licensing information in your state.

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.