Pharmacists

How to apply to become a PBS approved supplier – information for Pharmacists

Page last updated: 06 December 2019

New or relocating pharmacy
Change pharmacy ownership (not involving relocation)
How long does the change of ownership application process take?
Change of company directors
Change pharmacy business name
Change size of approved pharmacy premises
Change of bank account details
Change of postal details
Authority for authorised person(s) to sign 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
Contact us
Form - Privacy Note

New or relocating pharmacy

Pharmacists must apply to the Secretary of the Department of Health under section 90 of the National Health Act 1953 to:
  • supply Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines at new pharmacy premises; or
  • relocate an existing pharmacy to other premises.
Applications are considered by the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (ACPA) which makes a recommendation to the Secretary. Before applying please see the: To apply for approval to establish a new pharmacy, or to relocate an existing pharmacy, the pharmacist will need to: To view the end-to-end process for a new or relocating pharmacy application, see the ACPA application process map.
ACPA application process map (PDF 442 KB)
ACPA application process map (Word 19 KB)

If an application is recommended, prior to delegate approval, the applicant will need to obtain approval from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority to operate a pharmacy business at the proposed premises or, for Queensland applicants, provide a copy of the form submitted to Queensland Health.

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:
  • access the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal to lodge an application (please note, Terms of Use must be agreed to access the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal); and
  • obtain approval from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority or, for Queensland applicants, provide a copy of the form submitted to Queensland Health for a change of ownership.
If approved, the Department of Health will issue a new pharmacy approval number and cancel the approval number of the previous owner(s). The new owner(s) will need to register for online claiming of PBS medicines, and provide Notification of Australian Business Number. Read more about registering for online claiming for PBS.

IMPORTANT

If you are the representative applicant preparing and submitting an application on behalf of the other applicant(s), or you are another representative appointed by the applicant(s) to prepare and submit an application on their behalf, please download the Authority for a representative to prepare and submit an application on behalf of the applicant(s) form (PDF 113 KB). When completed, this form must be attached to the application at the 'Other Documents' 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 (PDF 95 KB). When completed, this form must be attached to the application at the 'Declarations' section of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.

Please note, the above Authority for a representative to prepare and submit an application on behalf of the applicant(s) form and Current owner(s) declaration form do not replace the application declaration generated within the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal which must be completed by the person submitting the application. The completed application declaration 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, the application will be placed in a queue and checked for completeness.

The completeness check will be undertaken within 20 business days, during which time the application contact will be contacted:
  • to resolve any minor inconsistencies (this may extend the time taken to process the application); or
  • if the application is deemed invalid and rejected due to major omissions and/or inconsistencies (the process restarts from the date a new application is submitted); or
  • to be provided with an administration number if the application is complete.
Once the administration number has been issued, the application contact will be notified via email and advised of the next steps.

The Delegate can grant approval only during business hours and on a business day in the Australian Capital Territory.

On the afternoon of the date advised that settlement will occur, a departmental officer will telephone the application contact to confirm that the pharmacy has legally transferred to the applicant pharmacist(s) and the pharmacy is open and able to supply PBS medicines. Alternatively, the Department of Health will accept notification via email confirming that the pharmacy has legally transferred to the applicant pharmacist(s).

Once confirmed, the new owner(s) will be approved to supply PBS medicines.

(Note that PBS online claims cannot be made 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.
Change of Ownership application process map (PDF 448 KB)
Change of Ownership application process map (Word 21 KB)

Change of company directors

To notify of a change of company directors, email pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au and include the pharmacy name, address, approval number and contact details. A copy of the new ASIC report showing the directors of the company must also be provided.

Change pharmacy business name

To notify of a change of pharmacy business name, the approved pharmacist must: A change of business name will not change the approval number. Once the pharmacist has been advised that the details have been updated, they must notify The Camerons Group at pbs@camerons.net to update their online account for PBS stationery.

Change size of approved pharmacy premises

Approval must be obtained before expanding/contracting the size of a pharmacy. Please email pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au to request the application form. The approved pharmacist will be required to:
  • submit an application on the form provided by the Department of Health;
  • provide copies of the current and proposed plans of the premises; and
  • notify the relevant state or territory regulatory authority that the pharmacy premises have been resized.

Change of bank account details

To notify of the bank account into which PBS payments are to be made, the Notification of bank account details for an approved pharmacist form (PDF 107 KB) must be submitted.

Change of postal details

If PBS statements are required to be sent to a postal address and not the pharmacy address, email pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au. 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 for authorised person(s) to sign forms

To authorise a pharmacist to sign PBS claim forms on behalf of the approved pharmacist, the Authority to authorise pharmacist(s) to sign claim forms on behalf of approved pharmacist(s) form (PDF 136 KB) must be submitted.

Temporary pharmacy closure – deactivation

An approved pharmacist that needs to close their pharmacy temporarily 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 disaster

If the pharmacy is affected by disaster, permission to supply PBS medicines at alternative premises for a temporary period can be obtained.

To apply, email pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au and include details and evidence of the disaster and the alternative premises.

Bankruptcy of approved pharmacist or external administration of pharmacy

The Department of Health must be notified as soon as possible if an approved pharmacist 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 provide:

An Application for permission to supply pharmaceutical benefits following bankruptcy or external administration form (PDF 133 KB); and

  • Evidence of the appointment.
A separate application form is required for each premises where the trustee (or external administrator) seeks to supply pharmaceutical benefits.

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 pharmacist

The 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.
A legal personal representative may apply to operate the pharmacy for a temporary period. This is until the granting of probate or letters of administration. If there are multiple executors in the will, any can apply jointly.

The representative(s) will need to provide: Evidence of the identity of the applicant will also be required. This can be 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.
A certified copy of a document that includes the applicant’s signature, and a statutory declaration is also acceptable. The statutory declaration must be signed by the applicant and indicate the applicant is the person named in the document.

The applicant must also provide an Authority to authorise pharmacist(s) to sign claim forms on behalf of section 91 permission holder form (PDF 118 KB).
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 (PDF 107 KB). 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.

Section 91 of the Act does not apply if the deceased pharmacist had a partnership agreement or contract in place that deals with the pharmacy business.

The partners must provide:
  • a certified copy of the deceased approved pharmacist death certificate; and
  • a copy of the partnership agreement.
The partner must also provide the Notification of bank account details for an approved pharmacist form (PDF 107 KB).

Some additional forms may be required depending on the circumstances.

Claiming for PBS medicines

The Commonwealth will reimburse approved suppliers for PBS medicines supplied to Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors.

Once recommended or approved, the forms below should be completed, including the Pharmacy Approval Number issued, and emailed to the Department of Human Services at the address on each form.

The Department of Human Services will then issue you with a digital certificate.

Read more about registering for online claiming for the PBS on the Department of Human Services website.

Contact us

For any queries, please email details of your enquiry to pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au or call PBS Approved Suppliers on 1800 316 389.

Form - Privacy Note

The 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.

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