Pharmaceutical Services Federal Committee of Inquiry

Page last updated: 27 March 2018

The Pharmaceutical Services Federal Committee of Inquiry (Committee of Inquiry) is a committee established by the Minister for Health to investigate matters relating to the services or conduct of approved pharmacists in connection with the supply of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The Committee of Inquiry consists of five part-time members, the Secretary of the Department of Health, or his delegate (either a pharmacist or medical practitioner); and four pharmacists appointed by the Minister.

The Committee may investigate a matter referred to it by the Minister or the Secretary that relates to the services or conduct of approved pharmacists in connection with the supply of pharmaceutical benefits under Part VII of the National Health Act 1953 (the Act).

The Committee of Inquiry has broad ranging powers that enable it to summons witnesses to appear before it and produce specific evidence.

Once an inquiry is complete, the Committee of Inquiry must provide a written report to the Minister for Health.  Based on the findings of the Committee of Inquiry, the Minister may:

  • reprimand an approved pharmacist; or
  • suspend or revoke the approval of the pharmacist under section 90 of the Act.

The approved pharmacist, as the subject of the inquiry, has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for an independent review of a decision made by the Minister.

The Australian Government Department of Health is committed to preventing the occurrence of fraud against health related programs.

Should you have concerns about a potential breach of the Conditions of Approval for approved pharmacists, or any other compliance matter, you can report your concerns to the Provider Benefits Integrity Hotline by calling 1800 314 808 or submitting the details to the Department online by completing the Tip-off form.

Please note that the Department is not able to provide complainants with updates due to legislated privacy and secrecy provisions.