Pharmacists

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

Page last updated: 12 October 2021

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
Contact us
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:
  • 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
  • before the PBS approval can be granted, provide evidence that the requirements of the relevant state or territory regulatory authority have been met.
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 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.
Once the administration number has been issued, it will be displayed on the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal and 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 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 Portal

Each 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 directors

To 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 name

To notify of a change of pharmacy business name: A change of business name will not change the approval number. Once a business owner 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 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 details

To 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 number

If you wish to update the pharmacy phone number, send an email to 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 phone number.

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 to permit person(s) to enquire and/or sign claim forms

To 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 – deactivation

If 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 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 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: 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: 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 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.
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 submit the Notification of bank account details for an approved pharmacy form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal.

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 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.)

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 us

For any queries, please email details of your enquiry to pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au 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 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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