A budget measure

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Changes to the administration of pharmacy approvals are being introduced from December, with the Department of Health to take over the role

In the Federal Budget released in May this year, the government announced changes to the administration of pharmacy approvals.

The Department of Health has advised the Pharmacy Guild of Australia that the administrative functions for new and existing PBS approved suppliers will be transferred from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Department of Health.

Transfer of administrative functions will commence from 11 December 2018 and will be finalised by 2 January 2019.

“This transfer of administrative functions from DHS to the Department of Health will allow for a more consistent and streamlined process – in line with recommendations of the Australian National Audit Office,” said the Guild in its Budget announcement.

The May Budget also foreshadowed charges for applications for pharmacy approvals coming into force from 1 July 2019, with a user-pays measure intended to recover the full cost of the community pharmacy approval process.

The application fee – yet to be determined – will be applied from 1 July 2019 for pharmacists seeking approval to supply PBS medicines at new or relocated premises.

In addition, the Department of Health says it will be investing in new technology to enable applications to be lodged and application payments to be processed online.

According to the Guild, applicants enquiring or applying under Section 90, Section 91, Section 92 or Section 94 will be required to liaise with Department of Health instead of DHS about administrative matters.

However DHS will continue to oversee PBS claim payments and manage applications for PBS Online Claiming.

“It is important that our members familiarise themselves with the new procedures,” says Guild of Australia in a statement to members.

What will the Department of Health manage?

Section 90:

  • New and relocation applications
  • Change of ownership
  • Bankruptcy applications
  • Expansion and contraction applications
  • Ministerial discretions
  • Application withdrawals
  • Cancellation of a s90 approval
  • Authority for a pharmacist to act
  • Updates to a pharmacy including:
    • Change of trading name
    • Change of directors/tsrustees
    • Deactivation requests
    • Banking details
    • Change of an approved person’s surname
    • Change of pharmacy address where no relocation is involved
    • Power of attorney requests
    • Dissolution of partnerships

Section 91:

  • Applications to supply benefits following the death of an approved pharmacist

Section 92:

  • Temporary or permanent application for a doctor in a rural setting
  • Cancellation of a s92 approval
  • Banking details

Section 94:

  • Temporary or permanent application (all categories)
  • Authority for a pharmacist to act
  • Cancellation of a s94 approval
  • Banking details

What will the Department of Human Services manage?

  • PBS claim payments
  • Applications for PBS online claiming (PKI certificates)
  • Applications for ABN & tax invoice agreements processing
  • PBS stationery contract
  • PBS Safety Net claims

Pharmacy approval applications and change of detail requests must be lodged via the Health Data Portal using an AUSkey.

Pharmacists’ representatives may still act on behalf of applicant pharmacists submitting an application for PBS pharmacy approval.

For ongoing updates visit the PBS Approved Suppliers website.
 You can also email pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au for further enquiries.

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