The Need for Licence Acquisition


The pharmacy market in the UK, is highly regulated and it can be very difficult to secure permission to open new pharmacy premises or relocate an existing one. This process is often known as Licence Acquisition.

There are two key points during the process, for a new pharmacy, the first is to make an application to the NHS England Area Team for inclusion in the pharmaceutical list and secondly the pharmacy premises must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

First decision that you need to consider is what type of pharmacy you are applying for. For a community pharmacy application the most important thing to consider when looking at the Regulations is whether or not your proposals have a sensible reason of being approved by NHS England. Please refer to our Opening a Pharmacy Checklist for a step by step guide of considerations before application.

NHS contracts are very hard to obtain unless there has been a change in circumstances (for example, 1,000 new homes being built with a new GP surgery as part of the development).

We can help to acquire a new full NHS contract by

  • Full research of the area
  • Helping to prove that there is a need for a new contract as there is a gap in the local pharmacy service provision
  • Assess the Pharmacy Needs Assessment (PNA) to ensure it is fit for purpose
  • Help with the application, cover letter, and evidence
  • Business plan
  • SWOT analysis
  • Site survey

It should be noted that this application will usually be appealed and PCL can then help to prepare evidence for the appeal and be present at the appeal if required to do so.

For a Distance Selling Pharmacy the most important thing to consider is how you are going to provide the essential services with no face to face contact.
A Distance Selling Pharmacy remains an ‘exemption’ application and therefore cannot be refused if all the qualifying terms are met.  There are a number of very specific requirements however and we can assist by:

  • Evidencing the provision of the essential services across England
  • Help with the application, cover letter and evidence
  • Preparation of Standard Operating Procedures for service delivery
  • Business plan
  • SWOT analysis

This application may be appealed and we can help to prepare evidence for the appeal and be present at an oral hearing if required to do so.

We offer independent advice and support to clients seeking to open a new pharmacy business, or provide guidance on the relocation of an existing pharmacy business.

Why Consider Us for Licence Acquisition?


With over 50 years’ experience in the pharmacy sector working for a variety of different business model from large Community Pharmacy chains to small independent Distance Selling Pharmacies we have helped a number of clients obtain their pharmacy contract.

The support available here can start with us researching and making a well-reasoned site specific contract application case, for submission to the relevant NHS authorities for an NHS dispensing contract for the new pharmacy premises under the current legislation.

For further information contact us.

Case Studies

Please click on the links below to view full details of each case study.


It was a great pleasure to deal with Pharmacy Consulting Ltd (PCL). I would recommend PCL to everyone especially young entrepreneurs about to embark upon owning their own pharmacy, be it in community pharmacy or Internet pharmacy. I valued the advice and motivation that PCL has given me to pursue my dreams. PCL’s knowledge in pharmacy regulation is vast and up to date and I will definitely use PCL again for my future projects
Testimonial from Farah Mohamed Community Pharmacist