Community Service Obligation for Pharmaceutical Wholesalers

The Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement introduced the Community Service Obligation (CSO) Funding Pool in July 2006 in recognition of the additional costs faced by some pharmaceutical wholesalers in providing the full range of PBS medicines to pharmacies. The CSO Funding Pool has continued under the Fifth and Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Page last updated: 15 February 2016

The aim of the CSO Funding Pool is to ensure there are arrangements in place for all Australians to have access to the full range of PBS medicines, via their community pharmacy, regardless of where they live and usually within 24 hours.

The CSO Funding Pool financially supports pharmaceutical wholesalers to supply the full range of PBS medicines to pharmacies across Australia, regardless of pharmacy location and the relative cost of supply.

Under these arrangements, payments are provided directly to eligible wholesalers (known as CSO Distributors) who supply the full range of PBS medicines to any pharmacy, usually within 24 hours, and that meet compliance requirements and service standards. These payments are over and above those made directly to pharmacists to cover the costs of supply from the wholesaler.

For information on the CSO operational arrangements, including the service standards and compliance requirements that CSO Distributors eligible to receive payments under the CSO Funding Pool are required to meet, please refer to the attachment below – CSO Funding Pool Operational Guidelines.

The CSO Distributors currently eligible under the CSO Funding Pool are:

  • Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (National Distributor);
  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (National Distributor);
  • Symbion Pharmacy Services Pty Ltd (National Distributor); and
  • Friendly Society Medical Association Limited, also known as National Pharmacies (State Distributor).

CSO Funding Pool Operational Guidelines (PDF 1802 KB)
CSO Funding Pool Operational Guidelines (Word 1970 KB)

Operational Guidelines - Appendix A (Postcodes and Locations) (PDF 2104 KB)
Operational Guidelines - Appendix A (Postcodes and Locations) (Excel 2104 KB)

Top 1000 CSO High Volume Medicines (PDF 1140 KB)
Top 1000 CSO High Volume Medicines (Excel 77 KB)

CSO Complaints Handling Procedure (PDF 190 KB)
CSO Complaints Handling Procedure (Word 402 KB)

CSO Complaint Form (PDF 288 KB)
CSO Complaint Form (Word 78 KB)
This form may not be completely accessible, if you need assistance accessing this form please contact CSO Admin (CSOAdmin@health.gov.au).

For general enquiries regarding the upcoming Request for Tender arrangements, please contact CSO RFT (CSO.RFT@health.gov.au).