About the National Medical Stockpile

The National Medical Stockpile is a strategic reserve of supplies for national health emergencies. It includes:

  • drugs
  • vaccines
  • antidotes
  • personal protective equipment

The stockpile also includes a limited supply of highly specialised drugs that may be difficult to get through normal channels in an emergency.

We keep the supplies in strategic locations around Australia. Details about the content of the stockpile are not released publicly for security reasons.

The National Medical Stockpile supplements the stock held by state and territory health authorities.

Why it is important

During a national health emergency, it is important to make sure that front-line health services, such as hospitals, have enough medicines and equipment to provide essential services.

Goals of the National Medical Stockpile

We aim to hold and purchase enough supplies to help meet the high levels of demand during a national health emergency.

Meeting our goals

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) provides advice on managing the stockpile during national health emergencies. The stockpile is not a general national supply line.

How it works

The Department of Health’s Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer have the authority to release stockpile supplies on the request of state and territory governments.

Find out how to access the stockpile as part of the response to COVID-19.

Who we work with

We work with:

  • the AHPPC
  • state and territory health authorities


National Medical Stockpile contact

Contact the National Medical Stockpile for information about accessing the Australian Government's strategic reserve of drugs, vaccines, antidotes and protective equipment for use in national health emergencies.

Stockpile.Ops [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
15 May 2020