Monday, July 23, 2012

License for Rent: What's the real deal?

July 23, 2012

Article IV of Republic Act 5921 (Pharmacy Law) clearly states the practice of pharmacy. Pharmacists must remember every section by heart in order to avoid suspension or revocation of certificate of registration / license. 

If somebody approached you earn extra money by lending them your license, think twice. The scenario is you are working in a different setting; let's say as a medical representative. Yes, you are not using your license as pharmacist to be a medical representative which gives you an idea that you can use your license elsewhere. The question is: are you violating any law? Yes, indeed! Here's the real deal, if you allow others to use your license that means you will be registered in FDA Philippines. Now, if you are listed as pharmacist of a certain company in FDA's rooster then it is your responsibility to display your certificate of registration in conspicuous place of that company. In doing so, your presence is needed in order for such establishment to operate. What law do I violate? Here it is: 
SECTION 28.  Display of certificate required. - It shall be the duty of every pharmacist engaged in the practice of pharmacy either on his own account or under the employ of  another to display his certificate of registration in a prominent and conspicuous place in  pharmacy, drugstore, hospital pharmacy or drug establishment which he operates or in  which he is employed. No pharmacist shall with his  knowledge allow his certificate of registration to be displayed in such establishments when he is not actually employed or operating therein in his professional capacity.  
FDA's inspectors visit all establishments registered to them announced or unannounced. If inspected and the pharmacist is not around, company/pharmacy owner may come up with an excuse and would probably work the first time but not all the time. In short, sooner or later your license will be suspended or revoked because you are a "GHOST PHARMACIST".  Not only that, if you are caught doing this over and over again, you may become a "JAIL PHARMACIST". 

SECTION 41 Other penalties..– Any pharmacist who shall violate any of the provisions of Sections twenty-eightthirty-onethirty-threethirty-fourthirty-seven, and thirty-eight of this Act or any pharmacist, after his certificate of registration has been lawfully suspended or revoked, who continues to engage in the practice of pharmacy, suspended or revoked, who continues to engage in the practice of pharmacy, shall upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to a fine of not less than thirty days but not more than four months, in the discretion of the court
I'm sure you don't like what you've worked for 4-5 years in academic school plus the honor of being "RPh" go away as quick as a blink of the eye. Say NO to those people approaching you for Php5, 000 (more or less) extra cash in your pocket for your license. 

In the Philippine Pharmacy Law, we are not allowed to work as locum, meaning to hop on other's job for the time being while the registered pharmacists is not present for some time. Just likes what the doctor's do; they can temporarily replace someone in some place if needed. I knew one big company who practice this in Philippines. The only thing is they do it within company. For example, when the pharmacist of one branch will not be around for some time, pharmacist of other branch may carry on with the duties and responsibilities.

In European countries, pharmacists may choose whether to work full time or part time. Part-timers are the locums. They work from one pharmacy to another. Sorry to say, it is not practice in the Philippines. 

This type of set-up is very much advisable not only because it adds income to pharmacists but also to provide a safer public health since all establishments will be operating with qualified pharmacists. I think it is better idea than putting professional license in jeopardy. What do you think?

By: Editor, Rph


  1. Hoping that ALL INSPECTIONS are done fairly... that there is no such thing as the pharmacist and/or owner are/is friends with the inspector...

  2. Establishing good personal relationship with the inspectors are totally fine as long as the intentions are pure. It is the responsibility of both parties to maintain professional relationship especially when their business and integrity are at stake.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please drop a line here and do come back as I will do all my best to reply to your comments.