Pharmacy Regulations

What are the different types of Australian Retail Pharmacies?

Australian pharmacies are divided into two types, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) approved retail pharmacies and private pharmacies. All pharmacies are managed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Department of Human Services Medicare. All medicines and medical devices are regulated by the Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

What is the difference between PBS and Private Pharmacies?

As a PBS approved pharmacy, David Jones Pharmacy is licensed to dispense scheduled medications and claim on behalf of Australian medicare card holders from Medicare. Claiming of medications are generally restricted to concession card holders, war veterans card holders (also known as Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS)) and all prescription medicines which are subsidised by Medicare. PBS pharmacies have the option of dispensing all prescriptions as PBS/RPBS or Private Prescriptions. Private pharmacies can only dispense presciptions as private.

Is there a difference for a family with no concession cards for either types of pharmacies?

The difference is if the prescription medication is subsidised by the PBS. The current maximum as on 1 January 2017, a general patient would pay is $38.80 and a concession patients pay a maximum of $6.30. The pricing of PBS approved medicines are regulated by the PBS. Private prescriptions are not regulated and have no maximum limits.

How are medication categorised in Australia pharmacies?

Australian pharmacies are authorised to supply the following scheduled medications:

Scheduled 2 Poison - Pharmacy Medicine
Scheduled 3 Poison - Pharmacist Only Medicine
Scheduled 4 Poison - Presciption Only Medicine
Scheduled 8 Poison - Controlled Drugs

What does the all scheduling mean for consumers?

The scheduling of medicines are regulated by the TGA and is intended to help protect consumers. All scheduled medicine will have the schedule displayed on the box in large letters and can only legally be found in pharmacies. Where there is no schedule applied to a medicine, such as a small packet of paracetamol, the medicine can be sold anywhere, including supermarkets, petrol stations and newsagents.

Pharmacies are only authorised to supply unscheduled medicines, Pharmacy Medicine, Pharmacist Only Medicine, Prescription Only Medicine and Controlled Drugs to consumers.