How to Become a California Board of Pharmacy Designated Representative

The California Board of Pharmacy has a license category for designated representatives. This is an individual who is required to be physically present at a business that is wholesaling dangerous drugs or devices. The person must supervise the wholesale operation. A registered pharmacist is allowed to play the role of a designated representative. But it is not specifically required to be licensed as a pharmacist in order to do this job.

There are also designated representatives for veterinary food-animal drug retailers. These are companies retailing the drugs or devices prescribed by a vet. And this applies when the medicine or devices are to be used on food-producing animals.

Some companies need more than one designated representative. That is because every moment that the business is operating, at least one rep must be there. So with vacations and days off and maybe multiple shifts, it’s not possible in many cases for one of these wholesale drug or device companies to fulfill their requirements with only one designated rep.

Both resident and nonresident wholesalers need a designated representative. If the person in charge is a licensed pharmacist, there is no need to apply and register for anything. But if the person is not a licensed pharmacist, then registration is required.

To qualify for the wholesaler designated rep, applicants must have at least a high school education or equivalent. They must also have at least one year of experience in the previous three years. This must be paid employment, not an unpaid internship or the like. And the work must have dealt with the dispensing of dangerous drugs or devices. The setting must have been a licensed pharmacy or a drug wholesaler, distributor, or manufacturer.

Exception for Work Requirement:

If you are eligible to sit for the pharmacist licensing exam, you don’t have to have the work experience. This usually means that you have an accredited pharmacy degree. In some cases, it may mean that have some amount of work experience. It is not possible to say exactly what this means because the rules differ from state to state.

There is a designated representative training program. And all wholesaler applicants must complete this training.

As of 2016, there is a $330 fee to become the designated representative for a wholesaler. And the fee is the same for vet food-animal drug retailers.


The requirements for vet designated representatives are similar. But there is an extra training course that must have at least 40 hours dealing with animal drug subjects. A California licensed vet tech or someone eligible to take the pharmacy or veterinarian exam does not have to take this extra training. Also, someone with 1500 hours of supervised experience under a vet designated rep does not have to take the extra training if the 1500 hours was accumulated in the 3 years before the application.

There are separate applications for the wholesaler and vet designated rep registrations. Both are listed below, with the wholesaler one on top.

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