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
Death of approved pharmacist
Claiming for PBS medicines
Form - Privacy Note
New or relocating pharmacyPharmacists 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.
- determine which Item of the Pharmacy Location Rules to apply under;
- complete the Application for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits at particular premises form;
- obtain approval from the relevant state or territory regulatory authority to operate a pharmacy business at the proposed premises; and
- provide relevant information to support the application.
ACPA application process map (PDF 443 KB)
ACPA application process map (Word 20 KB)
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:
- submit an Application for approval for change of ownership of a pharmacy (not involving relocation) form; 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.
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. It may take two to three business days before receipt of the application is acknowledged.
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.
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 directorsTo notify of a change of company directors, email email@example.com 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 nameTo notify of a change of pharmacy business name, the approved pharmacist must:
- submit a Notification of change of pharmacy registered business (trading) name form;
- provide a current ASIC report and ABN information; 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 a pharmacy. To apply for approval to expand or reduce the size of the pharmacy premises, the approved pharmacist must:
- submit an Application for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits at particular premises form;
- 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 detailsTo notify of the bank account into which PBS payments are to be made, the Notification of bank account details for an approved pharmacist form must be submitted.
Change of postal detailsIf PBS statements are required to be sent to a postal address and not the pharmacy address, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 formsTo 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 must be submitted.
Temporary pharmacy closure – deactivationAn 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 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@example.com and include details and evidence of the disaster and the alternative premises.
Pharmacy insolvencyApproval granted to a pharmacist, under section 90 of the National Health Act 1953, is a statutory interest given to the pharmacist to supply PBS medicines at particular pharmacy premises.
If the approved pharmacist is a company that has gone into external administration, the appointed administrator must provide the Department of Health with:
- notice of appointment; and
- signed evidence of acceptance of appointment on relevant company letterhead.
The appointed administrator is also required to notify the relevant state or territory regulatory authority of its 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 provide:
- an Application for permission to carry on business as a pharmacist by the legal personal representative of a deceased approved pharmacist form;
- evidence that the applicant is, or is likely to become, the legal personal representative, and
- a certified copy of the death certificate.
- driver’s licence;
- passport; or
- photo ID card.
The applicant must also provide an Authority to authorise pharmacist(s) to sign claim forms on behalf of section 91 permission holder form.
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. 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.
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, 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.
- Online claiming for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - application and terms and conditions form
- Notification of Australian Business Number and reference identification for tax treatment purposes and recipient created tax invoice agreement form
Read more about registering for online claiming for PBS on the Department of Human Services website.
Contact usFor any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on (02) 6289 2419.
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 more information on our Forms Privacy Information (Privacy Note) please visit the Department of Health website.