Board of Pharmacy

While the legislature can make and change laws impacting the profession of pharmacy, the Board of Pharmacy impacts the profession on a daily basis.
Being aware and engaged in the actions of the Board is important, your CPhA staff advocates before the Board on your behalf but it is imperative that you also take an active role in the regulatory process.


Board and Committee Meeting Information



The California Board of Pharmacy was formed in 1891 to function as a state health regulatory agency. In 1971, the Board became part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is part of the executive branch of the government of the State of California.
The Board:
  • Consists of 13 members who are appointed to four-year terms.
  • Members can serve only two terms.
  • The governor appoints seven registered pharmacists who reside in different parts of the state and work in various settings.
  • The governor also appoints four public members.
  • The Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly each appoint one public member.
  • Public members may not be licensed by this Board.
Members of the Board appoint the executive officer, with the approval of the Governor.  The executive officer implements the Board’s operations and oversees staff, including inspectors who are licensed pharmacists.


The Board’s Purpose
The purpose of the Board is in statute and reads, “Protection of the public shall be the highest priority for the California State Board of Pharmacy in exercising its licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions. Whenever the protection of the public is inconsistent with other interests sought to be promoted, the protection of the public shall be paramount.”
The Board regulates:
  • Over 47,000 Pharmacists
  • Over 800 Advanced Practice Pharmacists
  • 6,500 Intern Pharmacists
  • 70,000 Pharmacy Technicians
  • Several Exemptees (those who are involved with the wholesale or manufacturer of drugs and medical devices, but not required to hold a pharmacist license).
Regulatory Function
To promulgate a regulation, the board must follow the rulemaking procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act and regulations adopted by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).
Board regulations:
  • Enforce or administer a statute (bill)
  • Have the same force of law of a statute
  • Starts in one of five committees
  • Discussed, debated and acted upon in Board meetings
  • Board meetings are open to the public
  • The public may comment
  • Pharmacists may earn CE credit for participating
  • The start of the official rulemaking process
The rulemaking process (in a nutshell) once the Board approves a regulation:
  • Pre-Review
  • Board sends initial text of regulation to Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for internal review by legal, legislative, and regulatory review.
  • Notice of Proposed Action
  • Document describing changes to law and stated reasons/analysis for it
  • 45-day comment period
  • Review comments and determine if changes are necessary
  • If changes are made, additional 15 days are allotted for public comment
  • If significant changes are made, 45-day comment period starts over
  • Repeats until no changes are made

The Rulemaking Process

Final review:

  • DCA Legal and Legislative/Regulatory
  • Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
  • Department of Finance
  • Office of Administrative Law


Enforcement Authority

The Board is responsible for enforcing Pharmacy Law and has broad authority to do so. In order to fulfill this responsibility, they employ inspectors to ensure Pharmacy Law is being adhered to.  Working with the Executive staff, they can levy fines and citations for failure to adhere to Pharmacy Law. The Board also works with the State Attorney General and their deputies when a licensee has committed a serious violation of the law that requires license discipline.

California Board of Pharmacy Enforcement Process