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PLEASE NOTE: This chapter on California Pharmacy Law is intended to provide idiosyncrasies in California that may differ from Federal Pharmacy Law or may differ from other states.

If you are specifically preparing for the California Pharmacy Law exam, it may be beneficial to do a search on the internet for “CPJE (California Practice Standards & Jurisprudence Examination) Exam.” You can find sample questions. Additionally, you will be able to review the content outline for the exam.

In most instances, the language in this chapter is taken from the state code. We have presented the sections that are most significant. To view complete documents, go to the board’s website (, click on “Law & Regulations,” and then click on “Law Book for Pharmacy,” or other resources that are listed regarding pharmacy practice.


This is not a comprehensive list of definitions from California Pharmacy Law; rather it is an abridged listing of those terms that might be different from other states of the general accepted definition of these terms.

B&P—Business and Professions Code

CCR—California Code of Regulations

H&S—Health and Safety Code

Chart Order—An “order,” entered on the chart or medical record of a patient registered in a hospital or a patient under emergency treatment in the hospital, by or on the order of a practitioner authorized by law to prescribe drugs, shall be authorization for the administration of the drug from hospital floor or ward stocks furnished by the hospital pharmacy or under licensure granted under Section 4056, and shall be considered to be a prescription if the medication is to be furnished directly to the patient by the hospital pharmacy or another pharmacy furnishing prescribed drugs for hospital patients; provided that the chart or medical record of the patient contains all the information required by Sections 4040 and 4070 and the order is signed by the practitioner authorized by law to prescribe drugs, if he or she is present when the drugs are given. If he or she is not present when the drugs are given, the order shall be signed either by the attending physician responsible for the patient’s care at the time the drugs are given to the patient or by the practitioner who ordered the drugs for the patient on the practitioner’s next visit to the hospital. (B&P §4019)

Dispense—(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), “dispense” means the furnishing of drugs or devices upon a prescription from a physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or naturopathic doctor pursuant to Section 3640.7, or upon an order to furnish drugs or transmit a prescription from a certified nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, naturopathic doctor pursuant to Section 3640.5, or pharmacist acting within the scope of his or her practice.

(b) “Dispense” also means ...

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