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Horta ,  January 27, 2011

Azores liberalise access to pharmacy ownership in the archipelago

The access to pharmacy ownership in the Azores will cease to be exclusive of pharmacists, being extended to individuals, commercial companies and entities from the social economic sector.

This is one of the main innovations of the new legal scheme on pharmacies in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, which was approved by the Legislative Assembly on Thursday by proposal of the Government.
When presenting the law proposal, the Regional Secretary for Health also added that the new scheme extends from one to four, the maximum number of pharmacies that each individual, commercial company and entities from the social economic sector may “own or, simultaneously, exercise ownership, operate and manage, directly and indirectly.”

The requirement of pharmacies to provide “the quantity of medicine in accordance with the prescribed therapy for the patient” is another measure announced by Miguel Correia.

The dispensing of medicines to the public, according to the prescribed therapy, will be further subject to an ordinance of the Regional Secretary for Health.

Under the terms of this framework, the licensing of new pharmacies, which may only be open to the public after the awarding of the respective permit, issued by the Regional Directorate for Health, will be preceded by a public call for tenders.

In turn, pharmacies "cannot be sold, transferred or leased and its operation cannot be transferred before the expiration of five years from the opening date, following the respective public call for tender.”

According to the new legal scheme, “pharmaceutical units may be transformed into pharmacies as long as they meet the required operation conditions.” 
Furthermore, it also determines that the technical supervision of pharmacies shall be “permanently and exclusively” assured by a technical pharmaceutical supervisor. The pharmacy staff should include a technical supervisor and another pharmacist.

The new legal framework also stipulates that local pharmacies may sell to the public medicines, medicinal substances, veterinary medicines and products, homeopathic medicines and products, natural products, medical devices, food supplements and special food products, plant health products, cosmetics and personal hygiene products, child care articles and comfort products.

Under these regulations, the regional legislative decree no.19/99/A of June 24, amended by the regional legislative decree no.25/99/A of July 30, and the ordinance no.67/2009 of August 10 are hereby revoked.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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