Deactivation of PBS pharmacist approvals

Pharmacists who wish to temporarily 'deactivate' an approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits.

Pharmacists who wish to temporarily 'deactivate' an approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits must apply to us.

These guidelines aim to assist approved pharmacists who wish to temporarily 'deactivate' an approval under section 90 of the National Health Act 1953 and outlines the circumstances in which the Department of Human Services may be prepared to temporarily deactivate for a short and specific period of time.

Applications for deactivation

An approved pharmacist who needs to stop business as a pharmacist for a short and specific period of time at the premises for which they are approved must apply and request deactivation of their approval. The request must be in writing, giving reasons and, where required supporting documentation for the request before they stop supplying pharmaceutical benefits. An approved pharmacist who stops business as a pharmacist at the premises for which they are approved without requesting a deactivation of their approval may have their approval cancelled.

Reasons for deactivation

The need for convenient and ongoing supply of pharmaceutical benefits to the particular communities serviced by the pharmacy is an important consideration for us when considering whether or not to grant deactivation, and how long a deactivation period should be.

We will consider an application to deactivate an approval for a short and specific period of time in the following circumstances:

(1) Relevant considerations where there is no proposed change in the location of the pharmacy or the approved pharmacist

Where:

  • the approved pharmacist needs to stop business as a pharmacist at the premises for which the pharmacist is approved for compelling and demonstrated personal reasons (e.g. illness), and the service of a locum pharmacist could not be obtained to run the pharmacy business
  • where the approved pharmacist is unable to open their pharmacy for reasons which are beyond the control of the approved pharmacist, such as fire, flood or shop renovation

(2) Relevant considerations where there is a proposed change in the approved pharmacist and no proposed change in the location of the pharmacy

Where:

  • the approved pharmacist has entered into a contract for sale, transfer or disposal of the pharmacy business at its current locations
  • the approved pharmacist is unable, for reasons which are beyond their control, to carry on business as a pharmacist at the premises in which the pharmacist is approved until the transfer of ownership occurs

(3) Relevant considerations where there is a proposed change in the location of the pharmacy, irrespective of whether there is also a proposed change in the approved pharmacist

Where:

  • the approved pharmacist wishes to relocate the pharmacy to other premises and an application has been made to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (ACPA) to relocate the pharmacy, and the approved pharmacist cannot, for reasons which are beyond their control, carry on business as a pharmacist at the premises for which the pharmacist is approved
  • the ACPA has made a recommendation to us to approve the application to relocate the pharmacy and the existing approved pharmacist cannot, for reasons which are beyond their control, carry on business as a pharmacist at the premises for which the pharmacist is approved, or at the proposed premises

Relationship to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority process

The ACPA will not consider an application for relocation of a pharmacy that is not trading unless we have endorsed the application to deactivate the approval in accordance with these guidelines.

Making an application

The application and written documentation should clearly support the reasons for wanting to deactivate approval. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • leasing or legal disputes require documentation supporting the steps to resolve the issues and potential alternatives for the pharmacist
  • written advice from the shopping complex management advising that the premises are to be renovated and the pharmacy will need to vacate
  • evidence of significant structural damage to the premises, for example due to flood, fire
  • written confirmation of an inability to operate the pharmacy due to illness
  • written evidence that the services of a locum pharmacist could not be obtained to continue the business of the pharmacy

The application must also include the period of time for which the applicant is seeking deactivation.

We may at any time:

  • seek additional information from the approved pharmacist during the deactivation period
  • vary the deactivation decision

Extending the deactivation

We will only extend the period of deactivation beyond the original request in exceptional circumstances and with supporting documentation. In circumstances where there is a proposed change in the location of the pharmacy, it is usually a precondition that applicants will be ready to trade within 6 months of the ACPA recommendation to us.

Change of circumstances

Any approved deactivation period is directly linked to the reasons outlined in the application to deactivate. Therefore, we must be advised in writing if the circumstances change at any stage during the deactivation period, and before the end of the approved deactivation period.

If we become aware of any significant change in circumstances, the approved pharmacist will be asked to provide reasons in writing as to why their approval should not be cancelled.

Policy

These guidelines are subject to the provisions of the National Health Act and related legislation. If there is any conflict between these guidelines and the legislation, the legislation prevails.

Page last updated: 29 January 2016

This information was printed Sunday 4 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/enablers/deactivation-pbs-pharmacist-approvals It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.