Dodd & Crossett has a particular niche in advising owners of retail and compounding pharmacies in New South Wales (and other States and Territories).
Sales and Purchases
The majority of the firm’s advice is given in the context of pharmacy business sales and purchases, which is a very active, high-goodwill market given the restricted nature of Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) Approval Numbers.
In addition to the usual lease, employment and stock-related issues on a business sale, pharmacy sales in New South Wales require liaising with two regulators (the Pharmacy Council of New South Wales and the Department of Health) and ensuring compliance with the necessary rules and timelines for transfer of ownership.
Leasing and Franchising
Similarly, pharmacy leasing and franchising throws up its own unique issues which Dodd & Crossett have extensive experience in navigating. Pharmacy leases must be for ‘approved premises’ and are subject to inspections by the Pharmacy Council. The lease documents themselves must also not contain any provisions in them which breach pharmacy laws such as turnover rent provisions and rights of access without the supervision of a registered pharmacist.
Most franchise agreements and buyers’ group agreements do tend to push the boundaries in terms of the level of control and profiteering that non-pharmacist organisations (i.e. the franchisors) are permitted to exercise over pharmacies. Dodd & Crossett Solicitors have considerable experience in advising as to applicability of franchise agreement termination fees, transfer fees and rights of first refusal which pharmacy franchisors may attempt to exercise.
The pharmacy location rules (‘the Rules’) published by the Secretary of the Department of Health set out the criteria by which pharmacies are permitted to trade out of approved premises with a PBS Approval Number.
An application for relocation (or for the establishment) of approved premises is made to Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (‘the Authority’). The Authority meets monthly and has a highly prescriptive and strict approach in determining application with the Rules.
Dodd & Crossett has experience in advising clients on Pharmacy Relocations and ensuring compliance with the Rules.