Pharmacy for the public

A registered pharmacist-in-charge manages the public pharmacy. He or she can be supported or replaced by one or more other pharmacists. They can call on assistant pharmacists.

Opening or closing a pharmacy
To open a public pharmacy you need a license, granted by the minister of public health. Because there is currently a moratorium in place, you cannot apply for a new license. The list of licensed pharmacists can be found on the FAMHP website.

Does your pharmacy close for at least sixty days? Request this using the form for the temporary closure of a pharmacy.

Changing the registration of a pharmacy

Are you changing the registration of your pharmacy to, for example, register another pharmacist-in-charge or license holder? You must notify the FAMHP of this within 60 days.

Moving a pharmacy to another location

In order to move an existing public pharmacy to another address (a so-called transfer), you’ll need a permit, granted by the minister of public health. You can request this permit using the request form.

In the list of recent transfers you can see whether a location falls in the exclusion zone of 1.5 km around a new establishment according to the Business Establishment Decree for pharmacies. There you will see if there is currently a procedure running at a certain location.

  • The list contains both the original locations as well as intended new locations.
  • The columns “Result MB” and “Date MB” indicate whether and when the minister has made a decision and whether it is positive or negative.
  • The “Procedure” column indicates the type of transfer:

A license is also required for a merger of two or more pharmacies. According to article 3 (2) of the Business Establishment Decree for Pharmacies, no one may open or transfer a pharmacy within a radius of 1.5 km around a merged pharmacy for ten years. Moving an existing pharmacy into the zone is permitted if the transfer takes place due to force majeures or within a radius of 100 metres. You will find all merged pharmacies in the list of merged pharmacies.

Legal obligations and controls

The legislation for pharmacies is very complex. Pharmacists must respect legal requirements concerning among other things:

Every pharmacist is responsible for the quality of the medicines and health products they dispense. Health products are, for example medical devices. Medical devices must always bear a CE marking.

A pharmacist must also, to the greatest extent possible, ensure that patients use their medicines correctly by, for example:

  • providing information about possible side effects;
  • giving advice on dosage (posology) of medicines;
  • investigating interactions between medicines in patients who are taking multiple medicines simultaneously.

The FAMHP’s pharmacist-inspectors control whether pharmacists are respecting legislation. If not, they may impose sanctions.

Further information

Do you have questions about public pharmacies? Please pose them in an e-mail to

Internet pharmacy

Individual medication preparation (IMP)

Outsourcing of pharmaceutical preparations

Last updated on 09/09/2021