The Legal and Regulatory Framework for Community Pharmacies in the WHO European Region. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2019
(2019; 100 pages)


Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public and are a cornerstone of primary health care. The role of community pharmacists is expanding globally. This report provides an overview of existing components and provisions of the legal and regulatory framework for community pharmacies and their activities in Europe. It presents the diverse approaches to community pharmacy licenses and to establishment of new pharmacies and their ownership. It also details the framework for community pharmacy operating requirements (including opening hours, workforce, premises and equipment, services provided and identification of a community pharmacy) and the types of activity undertaken. Provisions associated with possible alternative forms of dispensing medicines (over-the-counter medicines, prescription-only medicines, dispensing by medical doctors and online medicine sales) are also described. The report concludes with the possible key players involved in the legal and regulatory framework and outlines their missions and functions. Adoption of provisions from one country to another needs a full analysis of advantages and disadvantages and adoption into the local context and adjusted to the coherence of the national framework.

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