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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14934

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Dear Chair

I refer to your letter of 18 February 2019 concerning petition EN0793 presented in the House, requesting me to exercise my discretionary power to approve a new pharmacy in Cowra, New South Wales.

I can confirm that my Department has recently received a request, from a pharmacist, for the exercise of my discretionary power to approve the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines at pharmacy premises in Cowra, New South Wales.

Legislation provides that I must decide whether or not to consider that request by 8 April 2019.

My Department will provide me with a submission, which includes the pharmacist's request, correspondence received in relation to the request and research by my Department. The petition will be included with that submission and I will take it into consideration when making my decision.

My discretionary power is designed to address circumstances where there is an unintended consequence of the Pharmacy Location Rules. I can only exercise my discretionary power if I am satisfied that a decision to not approve a pharmacist would result in a community being left without reasonable access to PBS medicines, and it is in the public interest to do so.

Thank you for drawing this petition to my attention.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Health, Mr Hunt(Petition No. EN0793)