Becoming an approved PBS supplier - for medical practitioners

Information for medical practitioners on becoming an approved supplier of PBS subsidised medicines in an area that does not have a pharmacy.

Approval may be granted to a medical practitioner, usually practising in isolated areas, under section 92 of the National Health Act 1953 to supply Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicines in a particular area where the community does not have convenient and efficient access to PBS subsidised medicines from an approved pharmacy.

A fulltime or combination of full time medical practitioner can be approved to supply PBS subsidised medications from the approved location.

To be an approved PBS medical practitioner:

  • you need to be practising medicine in the area for which approval is being sought
  • you need to hold a current registration with the relevant state or territory medical board
  • you must be willing to supply PBS medicines to any person in that area who presents a valid PBS prescription

To become an approved PBS medical practitioner, you need to submit an Application for a medical practitioner to supply pharmaceutical benefits form.

An approval granted to a medical practitioner for a particular area will be cancelled if a pharmacy is approved under section 90 to supply PBS subsidised medicines to the community in that area.

Temporary approval of a PBS medical practitioner

Temporary approval of a PBS medical practitioner may be granted to:

  • a locum for an existing approved medical practitioner, who can supply PBS medicines on behalf of the approved supplier, that is, using the approved medical practitioner's approval number. The locum can use the approved medical practitioner's prescription forms, crossing out the existing prescriber's details and replacing them with their own, or use interim supply, unpersonalised prescription forms. In either case, the locum medical practitioner must write their prescriber details on the prescription form

The approved medical practitioner must sign the PBS claim form, which includes a declaration that items were supplied by them or on their behalf. The payment of PBS benefits will be made to the approved medical practitioner's nominated bank account.

If the locum medical practitioner wants the PBS benefits paid to their own bank account, they will need to apply for their own approval under section 92 of the National Health Act using Application for temporary approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits form.

  • a medical practitioner who is temporarily employed in an area without a pharmacy. Where there is no permanent approved PBS medical practitioner in a particular area and a medical practitioner is employed to practise in that area for a temporary period, they can apply using Application for temporary approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits form for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits for the period they are employed to practise in the area. The approval will be cancelled on the date stated on their application unless the practitioner requests an extension

Relocation of a PBS medical practitioner

If a medical practitioner relocates to a new area, a separate application is required for the new area.

Page last updated: 5 July 2018