Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains frequently asked questions about applying for approval to become a PBS approved supplier

Page last updated: 02 April 2020

Applications

I am a pharmacist – how do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier?
I am buying an approved pharmacy – do I need to apply for approval to change ownership?
I am a medical practitioner - how do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier?
How do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier on behalf of a hospital authority?
Where can I find information about the Pharmacy Location Rules?
Where can I find the meeting dates for the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority?
How long does the application process take?
Do I need to complete an application form?
How do I lodge my application?
How do I request temporary pharmacy closure (deactivation)?
What should I do if my pharmacy is affected by disaster?
What should I do in the event of bankruptcy or external administration?
What should I do if an approved pharmacist dies?

Accessing the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

What is the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?
How do I access the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?
Do I need an AUSkey to register for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?
Is AUSkey being decommissioned?
What is myGovID?
When will myGovID be available to the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?
What do I need to do to transition to myGovID for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

Using the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

Where can I find user guides for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?
Can I view the status of my application in the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

Administrative matters

How do I claim for PBS medicines?
How do I obtain PBS stationery?
Which PBS approved supplier administrative functions does the Department of Health manage?
Which PBS approved supplier administrative functions does Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services) manage?
How do I contact the Department of Health?

Applications

I am a pharmacist – how do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier?

Apply to become a PBS approved supplier via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. For additional information, please refer to Information for pharmacists.

I am buying an approved pharmacy – do I need to apply for approval to change ownership?

New owners must be approved to supply PBS medicines. For information about how to apply, please refer to Information for pharmacists - Change pharmacy ownership (not involving relocation).

I am a medical practitioner - how do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier?

Apply to become a PBS approved supplier via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. For additional information, please refer to Information for Medical Practitioners.

How do I apply to become a PBS approved supplier on behalf of a hospital authority?

Apply to become a PBS approved supplier via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal. For additional information, please refer to Information for Hospital Authorities.

Where can I find information about the Pharmacy Location Rules?

Please refer to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority web page.

Where can I find the meeting dates for the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority?

Please refer to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority web page.

How long does the application process take?

For applications made under the Pharmacy Location Rules, please refer to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority web page which provides lodgement periods for the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority meetings. The Pharmacy Location Rules Applicant’s Handbook provides information about the application process and timeframes.

For change of ownership application timeframes, please refer to Information for pharmacists.

Do I need to complete an application form?

Under the National Health Act 1953 and the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Regulations 2017, applications for certain approvals must be in a form approved by the Secretary. Therefore, applications will be accepted only on the current approved forms available on the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal or from the Department of Health – PBS Approved Suppliers website.

How do I lodge my application?

All applications for approval to establish a new pharmacy, or relocate and/or change ownership of an approved pharmacy, must be lodged via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal using the online form. Other application types and forms must be lodged in accordance with the lodgement instructions provided on each form. For detailed instructions on how to lodge an application or other form via the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal, please refer to the user guides.

How do I request 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.

What should I do if my pharmacy is 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.

What should I do in the event of bankruptcy or external administration?

Please refer to bankruptcy of an approved pharmacist or external administration of a pharmacy.

What should I do if an approved pharmacist dies?

Please refer to death of an approved pharmacist.

Accessing and registering for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

What is the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

The PBS Approved Suppliers Portal allows for online lodgement of:

  • applications for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits
  • related PDF forms, for example notification of bank account details or authority to authorise pharmacists to sign claim forms
  • additional documents that may have been requested by the Department of Health or the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority
  • surrounding pharmacy comments

How do I access the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

The PBS Approved Suppliers Portal is available at pbsapprovedsuppliers.health.gov.au/. Please refer to the user guide How to register and sign in.

Do I need an AUSkey to register for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

Until AUSkey is decommissioned on 27 March 2020 (see myGovID questions below), first time users of the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal are required to register with a valid AUSkey.

  • AUSkeys can be obtained from the Australian Business Register website.
  • Please note: The process for obtaining an AUSkey can take up to 10 business days. This timeline is beyond the control of the Department of Health.
  • If you have obtained an AUSkey previously, you are not required to obtain a new one.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining or installing an AUSkey, please contact the AUSkey helpdesk on 1300 287 539 and select option 2 from the menu.

Is AUSkey being decommissioned?

Yes, the Australian Taxation Office is decommissioning the AUSkey service on 27 March 2020. After this date, you will no longer be able to access the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal using your AUSkey credentials – you will need to transition to myGovID.

What is myGovID?

myGovID is the Australian Government’s digital identity provider that allows you to prove who you are online. Relationship Authorisation Manager is an authorisation service that allows you to act on behalf of a business online when linked with your myGovID. Further information about myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager is available from the Australian Taxation Office Online Services website.

When will myGovID be available to the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

myGovID is a whole of government solution that will be made available to the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal from 5 March 2020. Any updates on the timing of myGovID will be provided on the PBS Approved Suppliers web page.

What do I need to do to transition to myGovID for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

To ensure a smooth transition to the myGovID credential, please follow the steps below:

  • Ensure your ABN details up-to-date.
  • If you are an AUSkey administrator:
    • check whether information for AUSkey holders within your organisation is current and remove any accounts that are no longer required. Checking the Australian Business Register should take less than five minutes.
    • when you’re ready to move to myGovID, you can use the ‘Import AUSkeys’ function in Relationship Authorisation Manager to create new myGovID credentials for staff members with an active AUSkey attached to your organisation’s ABN.

You can continue to log in to the Portal using your AUSkey until the credential expires on 27 March 2020.

Further information about myGovID is available from the Australian Taxation Office Online Services website.

Using the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal

Where can I find user guides for the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

The following user guides provide information about navigating and using the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal:

Can I view the status of my application in the PBS Approved Suppliers Portal?

Yes, from ‘My Dashboard’ you can view a list of your applications or documents uploaded via the ‘Upload Document(s)’ tab, and check the status of submitted applications and other PDF forms.

Administrative matters

How do I claim for PBS medicines?

Further information about claiming for the PBS is available on the Services Australia website.

Please note, PBS claim payments are managed by Services Australia, not the Department of Health. Therefore, all PBS claim enquiries should be directed to Services Australia on 132 290.

How do I obtain PBS stationery?

PBS stationery for eligible approved suppliers is available for ordering through the Camerons Group. To register to order PBS stationery, you will need to email the Camerons Group at pbs@camerons.net. Once registered, your online account will allow you to order PBS stationery relevant to your approval. Further information on how obtain PBS stationery is available on the Services Australia website.

Which PBS approved supplier administrative functions does the Department of Health manage?

Section 90:

  • New and relocation applications
  • Change of ownership applications
  • Expansion and contraction applications
  • Ministerial discretions
  • Application withdrawals
  • Cancellation of a s90 approval
  • Authority for a pharmacist to act
  • Emergency relocations

Updates to a pharmacy including:

  • Change of business (trading) name
  • Change of directors/trustees
  • 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 pharmaceutical benefits following the death of an approved pharmacist

Section 91A:

  • Applications to supply pharmaceutical benefits at alternative premises due to disaster

Section 91B:

  • Applications to supply pharmaceutical benefits following the bankruptcy of an approved pharmacist
  • Applications to supply pharmaceutical benefits following when a pharmacy is under external administration
  • Authority for a pharmacist to act
  • Banking details

Section 92:

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

Section 94:

  • Public or Private hospital applications
  • Authority for a pharmacist to act
  • Cancellation of a s94 approval
  • Banking details

Which PBS approved supplier administrative functions does Services Australia (formerly 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 claim

How do I contact the Department of Health?

If you have any questions about applying for approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits, please email details of your enquiry to pbsapprovedsuppliers@health.gov.au or call PBS Approved Suppliers on 1800 316 389.