Becoming an approved PBS supplier - for pharmacists
Information for pharmacists on becoming an approved supplier of PBS subsidised items.
If your pharmacy can’t operate due to disaster you can apply for permission to supply PBS medicines at alternative premises for a temporary period.
To apply, email email@example.com and include details of the disaster and the alternative premises. You can also call the Department of Health on 02 6289 2425.
We grant pharmacist's approval to supply Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicine, in accordance with section 90 of the National Health Act 1953.
To be an approved PBS pharmacist:
- you must have received approval to carry on a pharmacy business at a specific premises from your relevant state or territory regulatory authority. This applies whether you are applying for approval for a new, relocated or resized pharmacy
- you must be able to supply pharmaceutical benefits on request to the public at and from the approved premises
- you must not make a claim on the Commonwealth for payment for the supply of a pharmaceutical benefit (PBS medicine) if the:
- pharmaceutical benefit was never at the approved premises or
- was never dispensed at the approved premises
- you must apply to us using Applying for Approval to Supply Pharmaceutical Benefits at a Particular Premises form. You should refer to the Pharmacy Location Rules - Applicant's Handbook on the Department of Health website before lodging an application
Establishing a new pharmacy
You need approval from us before you can supply PBS subsidised medicine at a new pharmacy.
To apply for approval, complete an Applying for Approval to Supply Pharmaceutical Benefits at a Particular Premises form and include the required documentation.
Applications are referred to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority, which meets once a month to assess applications and make recommendations to us to approve or reject each application.
You must receive approval to carry on the pharmacy business from your relevant state or territory regulatory authority before we can approve your application.
When you receive approval for your pharmacy from us, and to enable you to make a claim on the Commonwealth for payment for the supply of a pharmaceutical benefit, you must provide us with your:
- bank account details, Notification of Australian Business Number and reference identification for tax treatment purposes and Recipient Created Tax Invoice agreement form and,
- a completed Online Claiming for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - Application and Terms and Conditions form
Relocating an existing pharmacy
You need approval from us before relocating your pharmacy, to ensure you continue to receive your entitlement to PBS benefits.
To lodge an application with us, you need to complete an Applying for Approval to Supply Pharmaceutical Benefits at a Particular Premises form and include the required documentation. You must decide which rule under the Pharmacy Location Rules handbook is most appropriate to your circumstances.
Pharmacy location rules
The Minister for Health approved amendments to the Pharmacy Location Rules by signing the National Health (Australian Community Pharmacy Authority) Determination 2011 made under section 99L of the National Health Act, commonly referred to as the Pharmacy Location Rules.
Read more about details of the rules, Australian Community Pharmacy Authority meeting dates and application cut-off dates on the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority on the Department of Health website.
Changes to the size of a pharmacy
If you want to expand or contract the size of your pharmacy, you must lodge an Applying for Approval to Supply Pharmaceutical Benefits at a Particular Premises form. You will also need to include copies of the current and proposed plans of the premises with your application.
Changing ownership of a pharmacy, not involving a relocation
If you want to sell or transfer your pharmacy, you must complete an Applying for Approval Change of Ownership of a Pharmacy (not involving relocation) form.
You should notify your relevant state or territory regulatory authority that you have sold or transferred your pharmacy.
When we approve the change of ownership, a new approval number will be issued and the previous owners' approval number will be cancelled.
Temporary closure of a pharmacy
If you need to close your pharmacy for a short time due to fire, flood, renovations, illness, you must apply to us for endorsement to deactivate your pharmacy approval. Any pharmacist that closes their pharmacy without obtaining endorsement to deactivate their approval is at risk of having their approval cancelled.
Deactivation guidelines outline the circumstances in which we may be prepared to endorse an application to deactivate a pharmacist's approval.
We may at any time:
- seek additional information from the approved pharmacist during the deactivation period
- vary the deactivation decision
Once we have deactivated your pharmacy, you should notify your relevant state or territory regulatory authority that your pharmacy has been temporarily closed.
How to reactivate a pharmacy
If you wish to reactivate your approval at any time during the deactivation period, you need to inform us so your deactivation is removed. You should then notify your relevant state or territory regulatory authority that your pharmacy is no longer closed.
When a PBS approved pharmacist goes into receivership, the receivers and managers must provide the following documentary evidence to us:
- notice of appointment of receivers and managers
- signed evidence of acceptance of appointment of receivers and managers on relevant company letterhead
- security interest - traders' 'Bill of Sale'
Once we are satisfied that receivers and managers have been duly appointed, a Pharmacy Programme Officer will deal directly with the appointed receivers and managers, rather than the approved pharmacist.
A registered pharmacist will be authorised by the receivers and managers to dispense pharmaceutical benefits. Pharmacy Programme Officers may be required to put a hold on the approved pharmacists' payment(s), if requested by the appointed receivers and managers.
You should notify your relevant state or territory regulatory authority that your pharmacy is in receivership.
When a PBS approved pharmacist dies, we must be informed.
The PBS approval ceases upon the death of the pharmacist. Any authority given by an approved pharmacist to allow another pharmacist to sign claim forms on their behalf also expires on the death of the approved pharmacist.
Under section 91 of the National Health Act 1953, a legal personal representative, an executor or administrator whose duty it is to settle the affairs of the deceased person can be granted permission to supply pharmaceutical benefits from a deceased pharmacist's pharmacy.
If you believe that you are the legal personal representative of a deceased pharmacist, you may apply for permission to operate the pharmacy for a temporary period until probate or letters of administration have been granted. If two people are named as executors in the will, either can apply.
You will need to complete an Application for permission to carry on business as a pharmacist form.
State pharmacy authorities allow for a pharmacy to be operated by a non-pharmacist for a period of 12 months once they have been notified by the executor that the pharmacist passed away.
All the following documents are required by us from the legal personal representative:
- an Application for permission to carry on business as a pharmacist form
- evidence that the applicant is, or is likely to become, the legal personal representative for the estate of the deceased approved pharmacist
- a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased approved pharmacist
Evidence of the identity of the applicant in the form of either:
- a certified copy of a document that includes the applicant’s photograph and signature such as a driver’s licence, passport or photo ID card, or
- a certified copy of a document that includes the applicant’s signature, and a statutory declaration, signed by the applicant, to the effect that the applicant is the person named in the document
If the deceased approved pharmacist died with a will, provide 1 of the following:
- a certified copy of the deceased approved pharmacist's will
- a statutory declaration, signed by the applicant, to the effect that, to the best of the applicant’ knowledge, the will is the last will and testament of the deceased approved pharmacist, or
- a letter of probate
If the deceased approved pharmacist died without a will, and the applicant has applied for letters of administration for the estate of the deceased approved pharmacist, provide both of the following:
- a certified copy of the application, and
- a statutory declaration, signed by the applicant, that the applicant knows of no reason why the application for letter of administration would be refused
If the deceased pharmacist was in partnership and there is a partnership agreement or contract in place that deals with the pharmacy business, then section 91 of the Act does not apply.
Documents required from remaining partner(s):
- a certified copy of the deceased approved pharmacist death certificate, and
- a copy of the partnership agreement