Skip to Main Content


This summary is aimed at providing information that is unique to North Carolina (NC). Approximately 75-85% of NC Pharmacy Laws are very similar to those of all other states.

  • It is recommended that this review be used in conjunction with NC Pharmacy Laws and Rules and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), both of which appear on the NC Board of Pharmacy’s website: ( The Laws and Rules are also available on the website.

  • At least six different agencies have oversight for NC pharmacy laws. Consequently, definitions and laws are slightly different and vary from one agency to another. For example: the definition of a “prescription” is different in the NC Pharmacy Practice Act and the NC Controlled Substance Act because different agencies are responsible for the content and enforcement. Another issue that can be frustrating, if you are not familiar with NC laws and rules, is that the content will have differing levels of detail for the same issue. For example, as you are studying the rules you will notice that the same content was in the laws. Generally, laws are the broad statements and rules are the agencies’ descriptions of carrying out the laws. In these situations, this review provides information about the application for practice and the reason for the law or rule.

  • Content that is critical for new licensees is especially important. So areas like label and prescription requirements, prescribing authority, recordkeeping requirements, etc., are particularly significant, and often are different from state to state.

NC administrative agencies that affect the practice of pharmacy (the sequence reflects the order of the documents in the laws and rules)

The NC Pharmacy Practice Act is part of the Medicine and Allied Occupations, and the Medical Board has oversight for this section of law. (N.C.G.S. § 90-85)

Medicine and Allied Occupations (N.C.G.S. § 90-8.2 and 90-18)

The NC Controlled Substance Act and Regulations and the oversight for this section is the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (N.C.G.S. § 90-87 through 90-113)

Occupational Licensing Boards of the State of North Carolina oversees agencies, and oversight is through The Office of Administrative Hearings which is a quasi-judicial agency. (N.C.G.S. § 93B-1 through 93B-16)

The NC Agriculture section contains the NC Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics laws, and includes reference to wholesalers, repackagers, and manufacturers. The Department of Agriculture has oversight for this section of law. (N.C.G.S. § 106-134)

Insurance laws are in a separate section and the insurance commission has oversight for these laws. (N.C.G.S. § 53-177)

The NC pharmacy rules are separate from the laws, and the NC Board of Pharmacy has oversight for the rules. (21NCAC 46.1201 through 46.3408)

There are other agencies that affect the practice of pharmacy like the Medicaid Department.



Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.