Recent insights from the Victorian Pharmacy Authority

December 2018

The VPA has recently published a series of guidance documents on its website relating to a number of commercial business arrangements and potential issues arising under the Pharmacy Regulation Act 2010 (Vic).

These documents cover common topics such as franchise, service and loan agreements, leases and pharmacy trusts and the effects of the Act on such agreements, as well as discussing pharmacists’ rights under such agreements. This is helpful in assisting pharmacists in determining what kind of clauses or agreements they need to be wary of, and when they should seek legal advice.

The VPA also publishes a regular communique which is a convenient way for industry stakeholders to stay informed of recent decisions by the Authority and of matters to be aware of in their own practice.

In their most recent issue, the Authority disclosed that they reprimanded four pharmacists between October and November 2018 for failing to notify the Authority that settlement of a pharmacy purchase had occurred, and were therefore operating a pharmacy business without a licence.

This may be a common issue due to pharmacists failing to read carefully the pre- settlement letter from the Authority in which approval of a pharmacy licence is granted “in principle” and then forgetting to notify the Authority and pay a licence fee after settlement, upon which a conditional licence is granted. Occurrences like this highlight the need for legal advice during all stages of a business purchase.

For further information, please contact Principal Mark Fitzgerald

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