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Monday, 21 May 2018
Page: 3824

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

I refer to your correspond of 6 February 2018 regarding a petition submitted to the

Standing Committee on Petitions (EN0419) seeking the exercise of my discretionary power to approve the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines at premises in East Victoria Park, WA.

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.

I can confirm that in November 2017 I decided not to consider a request by a pharmacist, for approval to supply PBS medicines at premises in East Victoria Park, as I was not satisfied that the two statutory requirements had been met.

In particular, I found that there were already three PBS approved pharmacies located within a 1 km radius of the proposed premises. Based on this, I was satisfied that my decision to not approve the proposed premises would not leave a community without reasonable access to the supply of PBS medicines.

The pharmacist has been provided with a Statement of Reasons for my decision, which included detailed findings and reasons for my decision. Once a decision has been made not to approve the supply of PBS medicines using the discretionary power, it is unable to be reversed.

Thank you for drawing this petition to my attention. Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP