Change pharmacy ownership (not involving relocation)
How long does the change of ownership application process take?
Submitting forms via the PBS approved suppliers portal
Change of company directors
Change pharmacy business name
Change size of approved pharmacy premises
Change of bank account details
Change of postal details
Change of pharmacy phone number
Authority to permit person(s) to enquire and/or sign claim forms
Temporary pharmacy closure – deactivation
Pharmacy affected by disaster
Bankruptcy of approved pharmacist or external administration of pharmacy
Death of approved pharmacist
Claiming for PBS medicines
Form - Privacy Note
Change pharmacy ownership (not involving relocation)New owners must be approved to supply PBS medicines. To apply for approval to change ownership of a pharmacy, the incoming owner(s) must:
- before the PBS approval can be granted, provide approval from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority or, for Queensland applicants, a copy of the form submitted to Queensland Health.
If you are an applicant preparing and submitting an application on behalf of other applicant(s), or you are another person appointed by the applicant(s) to prepare and submit an application on their behalf, please download the Appointment of a representative form. When completed, this form must be attached to the application at the 'Declarations' section of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.
When preparing a change of ownership application (with or without relocation), please download the Current Owner(s) Declaration Form. When completed, this form must be attached to the application at the 'Declarations' section of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.
How long does the change of ownership application process take?Processing of an application for a change of ownership (not involving relocation) currently takes up to 30 business days; therefore, applications are to be submitted at least 30 days prior to the anticipated opening/settlement date.
Following lodgement and payment of the fee, the application will be checked against the Valid Application Checklist. Applications will be checked in order of receipt and within 20 business days of lodgement. During this time, the application contact will be advised as follows:
- if the application is invalid – the application will be returned for resubmission via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal (the process, including the 20 business days, will restart from the date the application is resubmitted); or
- if the application is valid – an administration number will be issued.
The Delegate can grant approval only during business hours and on a business day in the Australian Capital Territory.
On the day of settlement, prior to 4:00 pm Canberra time, the application contact must email the Department to provide any outstanding documents and confirm that the pharmacy has legally transferred to the applicant pharmacist(s) and the pharmacy is open and able to supply PBS medicines.
Once confirmed, the new owner(s) will be approved to supply PBS medicines.
(Note that PBS online cannot be accessed without a PKI certificate. See the section below about claiming for PBS medicines.)
To view the end-to-end process for a change of ownership application, see the Change of Ownership application process map.
Submitting forms via the PBS Approved Suppliers PortalEach PBS Approved Suppliers form includes instructions on how it should be returned. For detailed information on how to submit forms via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal, refer to the guide: How to upload PDF forms or additional requested information.
Change of company directorsTo notify of a change of company directors:
- submit a Notification of a change of company director(s) form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal;
- attach a recent ASIC report that details the change of company director(s) and the date of the change; and
- advise the relevant state/territory pharmacy authority of any changes to the company structure.
Change pharmacy business nameTo notify of a change of pharmacy business name:
- submit a Notification of change of pharmacy registered business (trading) name form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal
- provide a current ASIC report; and
- provide evidence from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority of the name change.
Change size of approved pharmacy premisesApproval must be obtained before expanding/contracting the size of an approved pharmacy. To apply for approval, the applicant(s) must:
- submit an online application via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal;
- provide copies of the current and proposed plans of the premises; and
- provide evidence that the relevant state or territory regulatory authority has approved, or been notified of, the resizing of the pharmacy premises.
Change of bank account detailsTo notify of the bank account into which PBS payments are to be made, the Notification of bank account details for an approved pharmacy form, signed by all business owners, must be submitted via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.
Change of pharmacy phone numberIf you wish to update the pharmacy phone number, send an email to [email protected]. The request must be submitted by the owner(s) of the pharmacy and include the pharmacy name, address and approval number, and the details of the new phone number.
Change of postal detailsIf PBS statements are required to be sent to a postal address and not the pharmacy address, email [email protected]. The request must be submitted by the owner(s) of the pharmacy and include the pharmacy name, address and approval number, and the details of the new postal address and contact details. (Note that PBS statements cannot be emailed.)
Authority to permit person(s) to enquire and/or sign claim formsTo provide authority to permit person(s) to enquire and/or sign PBS claim forms, the Authority to permit person(s) to enquire and/or sign claim forms on behalf of approved pharmacist(s) form signed by one of the business owners, must be submitted via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.
Temporary pharmacy closure – deactivationIf an approved pharmacy needs to be closed temporarily, the business owner(s) must first request deactivation, in writing, before ceasing supply of pharmaceutical benefits. Further information is available in the Department of Health's Deactivation guidelines.
Pharmacy affected by disasterIf the pharmacy is affected by disaster, permission to supply PBS medicines at alternative premises for a temporary period can be obtained.
To apply, email [email protected] and include details and evidence of the disaster and the alternative premises.
Bankruptcy of approved pharmacist or external administration of pharmacyThe Department of Health must be notified as soon as possible if an owner of an approved pharmacy is bankrupt or if an external administrator has been appointed in relation to the pharmacy, on or after 5 December 2019.
The appointed trustee in bankruptcy (or external administrator) may apply for permission under section 91B of the National Health Act 1953 to supply pharmaceutical benefits at the pharmacy for a temporary period. This is until the pharmacy is sold or the permission is otherwise revoked.
The trustee (or external administrator) will need to:
- submit an Application for permission to supply pharmaceutical benefits following bankruptcy or external administration form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal; and
- attach evidence of the appointment.
Permission can only be granted where the pharmacy can continue (or resume) operating to ensure the community has access to pharmaceutical benefits.
Where an approved pharmacist who is a member of a partnership becomes bankrupt, unless all partners are bankrupt, an application should not be made by the trustee in bankruptcy.
The appointed trustee in bankruptcy (or external administrator) is also required to notify the relevant state or territory regulatory authority of the appointment.
Death of approved pharmacistThe Department of Health must be notified as soon as possible if an approved pharmacist dies. The executor of the estate can be granted permission, under section 91 of the National Health Act 1953, to supply pharmaceutical benefits at the pharmacy.
The deceased’s pharmacy may only be operated by:
- a legal personal representative;
- an executor; or
- an administrator whose duty it is to settle the affairs of the deceased.
The representative(s) will need to:
- submit an Application for permission to carry on business as a pharmacist by the legal personal representative of a deceased approved pharmacy form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal;
- provide evidence that the applicant is, or is likely to become, the legal personal representative, and
- provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
- driver’s licence;
- passport; or
- photo ID card.
The applicant must also submit an Authority to authorise pharmacist(s) to sign claim forms on behalf of section 91/91B permission holder form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.
Following a grant of probate or letters of administration, the beneficiary of the pharmacy will need to submit an Application to carry on business as a pharmacist by a beneficiary of a deceased approved pharmacist form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. Approval can only be granted to the beneficiary who is himself/herself a registered pharmacist.
One of the following is also required:
- a certified copy of the deceased approved pharmacist's will;
- a letter of probate; or
- a statutory declaration signed by the applicant.
The partners must provide:
- a certified copy of the deceased approved pharmacist death certificate; and
- a copy of the partnership agreement.
Some additional forms may be required depending on the circumstances.
Claiming for PBS medicinesThe Commonwealth will reimburse approved suppliers for PBS medicines supplied to Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors.
Once recommended or approved by the Department of Health, to set up online PBS claiming with Service Australia, the forms below should be completed, including the Pharmacy Approval Number issued, and emailed to Services Australia at the address on each form. (Please do not email these forms to the Department of Health.)
- Online claiming for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - application and terms and conditions form
(Please allow up to 10 working days plus Australia Post delivery for the PKI certificate.)
- Notification of Australian Business Number and reference identification for tax treatment purposes and recipient created tax invoice agreement form
Service Australia cannot pay for PBS medicines supplied if you have not submitted these forms. Once the forms have been received and processed, Services Australia will issue you with a digital PKI certificate.Read more about registering for online claiming for the PBS as a pharmacist on the Services Australia website.
Contact usFor any queries, please email details of your enquiry to [email protected] or call PBS Approved Suppliers on 1800 316 389.
Contact Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services)Service Australia oversees patient eligibility and PBS claim payments, and sets up online claiming.
Read more about online claiming for the PBS on the Services Australia website or call 1800 700 199.
To check patient eligibility or script authority queries – please call 132 290.
Form - Privacy NoteThe Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
The Department is collecting personal information that you provide in the relevant Form for the purposes of assessing the application or processing the notification (as the case may be). The collection of the personal information is authorised under the National Health Act 1953 (Cth) and delegated legislation under that Act.
For further information, please visit Privacy and your personal information.