The Department of Health has statewide responsibility for pharmacy ownership under the Pharmacy Business Ownership Act 2001 (PBOA). We require documentary evidence that any proposed ownership complies with the requirements of the legislation by completing and returning to us, a Pharmacy Ownership Notification (PDF 120 kB).
Please note it is not our role to provide legal and accounting advice regarding permissible structures under the PBOA.
The following provides guidance on how pharmacy ownership structures will be assessed by us:
- the definition of 'relative' (section 139A) is intentionally narrow to ensure the control and ownership of a pharmacy business is restricted to individuals qualified in the field of pharmacy and who are required to maintain professional standards.
- a corporation that owns a pharmacy business must comply with section 139B of the PBOA, including having only individual (not corporate) shareholders who are either pharmacists or their relatives.
- a corporation may not hold shares in a corporation that owns a pharmacy business as all shareholders must be natural people (either pharmacists or their relatives).
- a corporation must not own more than five pharmacy businesses at the same time. Ownership of a pharmacy business is defined in section 139A to include having a proprietary interest in the pharmacy business.
- a pharmacist must not have a beneficial interest in more than five pharmacy businesses at the same time. A pharmacist has a beneficial interest in a pharmacy business:
- if the pharmacist owns the pharmacy business (as per above)
- if the pharmacist is a director of, or shareholder in, a corporation that owns the pharmacy business.
- the PBOA does not limit the ownership of a pharmacy business as a trustee, provided all other provisions in the PBOA are met. This includes the requirement that a corporation may not hold shares in a corporation that owns a pharmacy business.
- individual (not corporate) shareholders may hold shares as a trustee in the corporation that owns the pharmacy business.
- a trust is not a legal entity and accordingly cannot own property in its own right. A pharmacy business may be owned by a person or a company as trustee for beneficiaries.
Tel: 07 3708 5258
Fax: 07 3708 5431