Distribution of pharmacies : new royal decree and pharmacists can now check the coordinates of their pharmacies

date: 08/03/2022

The publication of a new royal decree provides more objective and transparent rules, simpler and more efficient procedures, new possibilities such as the merger and relocation of pharmacies and a limitation of the duration of temporary closures. The new royal decree also establishes the geographical coordinates of pharmacies. Pharmacists can now check this and, if necessary, request a correction by 09.05.2022 at the latest.

On 16 January, the royal decree on the registration and distribution of pharmacies open to the public was published. The main objective of this royal decree is to achieve the best possible match between the supply of care and the needs for care. 

The new legislation offers four major improvements

  1. The rules for the distribution of pharmacies open to the public become more objective and transparent. This is done by simplifying the demographic criteria and deciding on the transfers in the immediate vicinity by means of a mathematical formula. This eliminates the need for interpretation and makes it possible to abolish the establishment committee.
  2. The procedures are becoming more efficient and simpler. A number of steps, such as the advice of the governor and the provincial medical commission, will be eliminated.  The procedure will also be faster and there will be less disputes. This offers more legal certainty to the sector.
  3. There are new possibilities.  The transfer with better geographical or demographic distribution often did not have the desired effect. This is replaced by the possibility of merging two pharmacies and moving the remaining one.  This creates a new incentive for the merger of pharmacies, allowing for a more efficient organisation of care.  
  4. The duration of temporary closures is limited to avoid so-called 'sleeping' pharmacies.

Geographical coordinates of pharmacies can now be checked
In order to be able to apply the new rules of the royal decree, the FAMHP has determined the geographical coordinates of all pharmacies open to the public. The coordinates are included in the list of pharmacies in X,Y form. Pharmacies can check their coordinates using sites such as TopoMapViewer or CadGIS

Should there nevertheless be an error, license holders can request a correction by means of a surveyor's certificate. Especially when a pharmacy is located on a relatively large cadastral plot (hospital, shopping centre, station, etc.), there is a chance that the coordinates do not exactly match the pharmacy. Pharmacies that have a authorisation to transfer but have not yet physically transferred do not need to request a correction as this will be adjusted upon registration. Pharmacies with a transfer authorisation that have already been physically transferred but have not yet registered the transfer are invited to do so as soon as possible.

Corrections can be requested up to 09.05.2022 by
•    e-mail : registration_pharmacy@fagg-afmps.be
•    letter : Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products
         DG Inspection - Authorisations Division - Register of Pharmacies
         Avenue Galileelaan 5/03
         1210 BRUSSELS
Please use an acknowledgement of receipt or registered mail.

More information
Pharmacy open to the public

Last updated on 11/03/2022