Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Approved Suppliers

PBS approved supplier administrative functions

Page last updated: 23 November 2020

The Department of Health manages and implements PBS approved supplier policy to improve the health outcomes of all Australians through access to medicines.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page for further details about PBS Approved Supplier administrative functions and the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.

News Updates

November 2020
Scheduled Outage of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

From 8pm on Thursday 10 December until 7:30am on Friday 11 December 2020 (AEDT).

Due to the scheduled outage, the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal will not be available from 8pm on Thursday 10 December until 7:30am on Friday 11 December 2020 (AEDT).

The outage will allow for the following updates to the Portal:

  • Removal of the requirement to enter current owner(s) contact nominee details in the Portal form. These details will now be requested in the ‘Current owner(s) declaration’ PDF form.
  • Trustee of a Trust will no longer be considered as an applicant and the option to select Trustee of a Trust as an organisation type will be removed from the Portal form. (Please refer to the notice below for further information about Trustee of a Trust.)

Draft applications will remain in the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal and retain existing data unless:

  • Current owner(s) contact nominee details were provided, in which case you will need to ensure the updated ‘Current owner(s) declaration’ form is completed and attached to the application. Please note, applications submitted on or after 11 December 2020 must have the new ‘Current owner(s) declaration’ form attached. The new ‘Current owner(s) declaration’ form will be available on the Guides and Forms webpage from 10 December 2020.
  • Trustee of a Trust was entered as an applicant and selected as an organisation type, in which case you will need to amend the applicant’s details to remove reference to the trust and, if an organisation, select either ‘Company’ or ‘Friendly Society’ as your organisation type.

Removal of Trustee of a Trust as an applicant and organisation type on applications for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits

Section 90 of the National Health Act 1953 (Act) provides for the Secretary of the Department of Health to approve a pharmacist to supply pharmaceutical benefits at particular premises. A pharmacist means a person registered as a pharmacist or pharmaceutical chemist under a law of a state or territory providing for the registration of pharmacists or pharmaceutical chemists, and includes a friendly society or other body of persons (whether corporate or unincorporate) carrying on business as a pharmacist.

From 11 December 2020, the Department will no longer consider or reference trusts when assessing and approving applications for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits. Therefore, applications for approval made on or after this date should not include reference to a trust in the applicant details and trust documents should no longer be provided.

References to trusts will be removed from application forms on the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal from this date.

Evidence of the relevant state or territory pharmacy board approval will still be required prior to the Delegate of the Secretary considering whether or not to grant approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits. The Delegate will continue to confirm that the details on the relevant pharmacy board approval match those details on the application for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits, with the exception of any reference to trusts on the pharmacy board approval.

PBS Approved Suppliers – End of year closure period

The Department of Health is closed from 3pm on 24 December 2020 to 1 January 2021 inclusive.

If you are planning to change ownership or other business details of an approved pharmacy between mid‑December and mid‑January, please ensure that your application is submitted by 27 November 2020, noting that applications will continue to be assessed within published timeframes.

Applicants previously issued with an Administration Number wishing to request an Approval Number may do so until 18 December 2020.

Applications for consideration by the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority should continue to be submitted in line with the submission dates at www.health.gov.au/acpa.

The PBS Approved Suppliers Portal will be available for submission of applications and notifications during the closure period; however, no applications will be assessed and no PBS approvals will be issued.

July 2020
Scheduled Outage of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

Commencing 7:30pm Thursday 6 August until 7:30am Friday 7 August 2020 (AEST)

Due to the scheduled outage, the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal will not be available from 7:30pm Thursday 6 August until 7:30am Friday 7 August 2020 (AEST). The scheduled outage will allow for the following updates to the Portal.

Key changes to PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

  1. The current Notification of Payer Details downloadable PDF form for applicants to provide the Department of Health information to generate an invoice, will be part of the online applications as an online form in the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. Subsequently, the downloadable PDF form will be removed from the PBS Approved Suppliers website on 7 August 2020.
  2. Online credit card payments for application fees will be available through the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal after the application submission process. Portal users will be prompted to make an online credit card payment or download the invoice for other methods of payments upon submission of their application.
  3. Invoices for application fees will be available to download and view in the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. Portal users will be able to access their invoice after the application submission process, from their dashboard.

Important: Draft applications in progress will be removed at the commencement of this scheduled outage. Unless you submit your application prior to the scheduled outage, please ensure you have saved your supporting documents.

May 2020
Introduction of application fees in July 2020 for pharmacists seeking approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits

In the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced that application fees would be introduced for pharmacists seeking approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits. The application fees are to cover the cost of the regulatory activity, which includes work undertaken by both the Department of Health and the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority. The application fees will apply to applications submitted to the Department of Health from 1 July 2020.

As stated in the National Health (Application Fees for Pharmacist Approvals) Determination 2020, the fee amounts are as follows:

  • The fee for applications assessed by the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority, will be $5,530. This fee will apply to applications for approval to:
    • establish a new pharmacy to supply pharmaceutical benefits, and
    • relocate an approved pharmacy (with or without change of ownership).
  • The fee for applications assessed by the Department of Health will be $920. This fee will apply to applications for approval to:
    • change ownership of an approved pharmacy (not involving relocation), and
    • expand or contract the size of an approved pharmacy.

The legislation requires that an application must be accompanied by the application fee; therefore, from 1 July 2020, an applicant’s payer details must be provided when one of the above application types is submitted to the Department of Health.

Applications from medical practitioners and hospital authorities seeking approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits will not incur a fee.

More information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions webpage. If you have any further questions about the introduction of application fees for pharmacists seeking approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits, please email details of your enquiry to [email protected].

April 2020
Scheduled Outage of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

Commencing 7:30pm Thursday 28 May until 7:30am Friday 29 May 2020 (AEST)

Due to the scheduled outage, the Portal will not be available from 7:30pm Thursday 28 May until 7:30am Friday 29 May 2020 (AEST). The scheduled outage will allow for the following updates to the Portal.

Key changes to PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

  1. The current Authority for a representative to prepare and submit an application on behalf of the applicant form will be replaced by the Appointment of a representative to prepare and submit an application form. An appointed representative for an application will be prompted to complete and upload the Appointment of a representative to prepare and submit an application form (where applicable) to the Declaration section of the Portal. This form will no longer be required to be attached to the Other Documents section of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.

The Applicant(s) Declaration will no longer be required as a separate attachment. This requirement will be replaced with a check box within the Declaration section of the Portal to indicate the declaration has been made.

  1. If an application has omissions or inconsistencies and is deemed invalid, completion of a new application will no longer be required. The original application will be returned and will appear on the submitter’s dashboard as a draft application for resubmission. The application’s contact nominee will be notified by email on the details of the errors or omissions, and be advised how to resubmit through the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. The application lodgement date will be the date the application is resubmitted.

April 2020
Impact of COVID-19 on Approved Pharmacies

The Department of Health is aware of a number of Approved Pharmacies that have closed or changed their business arrangements due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is preferable that pharmacies remain open where possible to ensure that the community has ongoing access to PBS medicines.

However, if an approved pharmacy needs to close due to a COVID-19 related reason and for more than a couple of days, please email [email protected] with:

  • the approval number and location
  • the reason for closing and intended period of closure
  • details of how the community will access medicines during that period.

Please also advise when an approved pharmacy needs to significantly reduce trading hours.

The Department will then work with the individual pharmacies to determine if a formal deactivation of the approval is appropriate.

This information will assist in determining risks to ongoing access to PBS medicines by the community and allow for action to be taken as necessary to mitigate such risks.