Pharmacy information for consumers

This page provides information for consumers about programs and services under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. You will also find information about the standards you can expect from your community pharmacy.

Page last updated: 27 February 2014

Information for pharmacists, including more detailed information on the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Collection of PBS Under Copayment data (PDF 13 KB)
Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement
Community Pharmacy Service Charter
Services for consumers
Home Medicines Review
Home Medicines Review Hospital Referral Pathway Consultation Paper
Residential Medication Management Review
MedsCheck (Medicines Use Reviews)
Diabetes MedsCheck (Diabetes Medication Management Service)
Pharmacy Practice Incentives
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program
Rural Programs
Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance
Section Support Allowance

Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement

News Update

Changes to administrative arrangements for Fifth Agreement programmes

From 1 March 2014 the administration of registration and claims for payment for professional programmes under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) will be undertaken by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

A number of changes to programme parameters will also come into effect at this time.

For further information, and to access the new 5CPA Registration and Claiming Portal from 1 March 2014, please visit the 5CPA website.

Department of Health web content relating to the 5CPA will be updated at a later date.

Link to the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (PDF 305 KB)

The five year Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (Fifth Agreement) between the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides $15.4 billion over the life of the Agreement for more than 5000 community pharmacies. The Agreement provides funding for a suite of programs delivered by community pharmacies, remuneration for functions such as dispensing PBS medicines and supports full line wholesalers to ensure pharmacies have timely access to PBS medicines.

Community Pharmacy Service Charter

PDF printable version to Charter brochure (PDF 672 KB)
PDF printable version to Charter poster (PDF 150 KB)
HTML version of the Charter

The Community Pharmacy Service Charter (the Charter), has been developed to assist consumers receive safe and effective healthcare through their community pharmacy. Pharmacies that display the Charter uphold the following standards:

You have the right to health care and will be provided with medicines and pharmacy related services and products to address your health care needs.

You have the right to receive safe and high quality care. You will be provided with safe and effective medicines, and high quality pharmacy related services, with professional care, skill and competence.

You have the right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration. In receiving services, you and your culture, beliefs, values and personal characteristics will be respected as will those of your carer and advocate.

You have the right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way. You will be provided with open, timely and appropriate communication about your health, medicines and related services and products in a way you can understand.

You have the right to be included in decisions and choices about your care. You will be included in making decisions and choices about your health, medicines and related services and products.

You have the right to privacy and confidentiality of your personal information. Unless you otherwise consent, your personal privacy will be maintained, and your personal health and other information will be properly handled. A private area will be available to discuss your needs.

You have the right to comment on your care and to have your concerns addressed. Your comments or concerns about medicines or other services offered will be promptly addressed. You can give comments in a number of ways, either directly to your pharmacy, to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, or to your state or territory health complaints commission.

Services for consumers

The Fifth Agreement will provide community pharmacies and pharmacists with funding to deliver professional programs and services over the life of the Agreement of around $663 million. Programs under the Fifth Agreement include the continuation and revision of some existing professional services and also a range of new services. The programs and services for consumers are:

Home Medicines Review

The Home Medicines Review (HMR) program is a service where an accredited pharmacist can come to your home and talk about your medicine. Your doctor can refer you for a HMR and, once a HMR is conducted, your doctor will be given any recommendations to manage your medication. Your doctor can then discuss the outcomes with you and develop a medication management plan.

From 1 October 2011 GPs will be able to refer directly to approved accredited pharmacists for HMRs without the need to go through a community pharmacy. GPs will still be able to make referrals to a community pharmacy.

Home Medicines Review Hospital Referral Pathway Consultation Paper

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Residential Medication Management Review

The Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) program funds approved, accredited pharmacists to conduct medication reviews for permanent residents of Australian Government funded residential aged care facilities. The program aims to enhance the Quality Use of Medicines, and reduce the number of adverse medicines events by assisting aged care residents and their carers with their medication.

From 1 October 2011, all medication management reviews conducted with eligible residents must be collaborative, that is, conducted by an accredited pharmacist in collaboration with a GP.

MedsCheck (Medicines Use Review)

MedsCheck is a new program under the Fifth Agreement. This service will involve a structured in-pharmacy review of your medicines by a registered pharmacist. This service, which will be available from July 2012 aims to:
  • help you learn more about your medicines including how medicines affect medical conditions;
  • identify problems that you may be experiencing with your medicines;
  • improve the effective use of medicines by patients; and
  • educate patients about how to best use and store their medicines.

Diabetes MedsCheck (Diabetes Medication Management Service)

The Diabetes Medscheck aims to improve the health outcomes of people living with Type 2 Diabetes through improved medication management by:
  • helping a patient better understand their diabetes medication therapy and making sure they are correctly taking their medicines;
  • making sure a patient is using their Blood Glucose Monitoring device correctly and helping educate them;
  • improving blood glucose control; and
  • reducing the risk of developing complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes.

Pharmacy Practice Incentives

This program provides payments to pharmacies to deliver a number of services, including:

Dose Administration Aids
Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) are packs that contain your medicines stored together and grouped to be taken at specific times. A DAA can help you better manage your medicines and reduce the risk of forgetting to take a medicine, or taking too much.

Clinical Interventions
This program will support pharmacists to help identify and manage medicine-related problems. It may be as part of collecting your medicine that the pharmacist may identify a need to discuss your medicines and take some action. Through Clinical Interventions, pharmacists aim to:
  • improve communication with patients and prescribers;
  • provide integrated care from the pharmacy to the treating doctor; and
  • complement other services such as in-pharmacy MedsCheck.
Staged Supply Support Allowance
In some cases it may be worthwhile for a patient to collect their medicines in stages rather than all at once. Under this program, pharmacies are encouraged to dispense PBS medicines in installments, this may be daily, weekly, fortnightly, etc and at a lesser quantity than that prescribed by the doctor, if in the patient’s best interest. A request for staged supply of medicines is usually provided by a doctor to support patients with mental illness, drug addiction or who are otherwise unable to manage medications safely.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs

The Fifth Agreement continues to focus on programs such as scholarships and traineeships that provide access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote, rural and urban setting. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Workforce Program focuses on strengthening and supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacy workforce, which in turn will provide improved, culturally appropriate, pharmacy services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Rural Programs

A number of activities under the Fifth Agreement are targeted at supporting better access to community pharmacy in non-urban areas. This includes activities to train and retain pharmacists (and students studying to become pharmacists), and pharmacy workers. In addition, there is assistance to ensure communities have ready access to a community pharmacy, such as support for emergency locums.

Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance

The Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA) recognises the additional financial burden of maintaining a pharmacy in rural and remote areas of Australia. The monthly allowance is paid to eligible proprietors of pharmacies approved under section 90 of the National Health Act 1953.

The amount of the allowance ranges from approximately $5,000 to over $45,000 per annum. The allowance is calculated annually, based on the remoteness of the pharmacy according to the Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA), and the level of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) prescription volumes. Pharmacies with low prescriptions volumes in more remote areas receive the highest level of the allowance.

Eligibility for the RPMA allowance is capped in relation to PBS and RPBS prescriptions volume.

For detail on applying for the RPMA go to the Department of Human Services - Medicare website.

Following the update to the Pharmacy Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA) on 1 July 2012, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia continued to discuss any potential impact of these changes through the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement (Fifth Agreement) governance process. In light of these discussions, it was decided that the focus of the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA) would remain for those pharmacies residing in PhARIA 2-6 who continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the program. This will ensure that the RPMA continues to meet the policy intent of the rural programs under the Fifth Agreement being to strengthen and support the rural pharmacy workforce in order to increase access to quality pharmacy services for patients in rural Australia.

The Department and the Guild will continue to monitor the impact of the changes to the RPMA eligibility.


The Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (QUMAX) Program is a support initiative that aims to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, of any age, at participating Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS). The focus of the QUMAX Program is to improve Quality Use of Medicines through a range of support services provided by participating ACCHS and community pharmacies in rural and urban Australia.

These support services include:
  • Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) arrangements with participating community pharmacies;
  • Pharmacy support - in areas such as QUM planning, policies, protocol development, medicine quality assurance and appropriate Safety Net utilisation;
  • Reducing the cultural and logistical barriers to access HMRs by ACCHS clients;
  • QUM devices - eg asthma and diabetes;
  • Education and training for ACCHS employees;
  • Cultural awareness training for community pharmacists and other community pharmacy staff;
  • Transport support – to access medicines and community pharmacy services.

Section Support Allowance

The Section 100 Support Allowance Program aims to improve health outcomes for clients of remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) who participate in the special PBS medicines supply arrangements approved under Section 100 of the National Health Act 1953. The Program supports quality use of medicines to participating remote area AHS through pharmacist visits and advice.Top of page

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