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National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Act 2017

Page last updated: 29 March 2017

The National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2016 was passed in the House of Representatives on 20 March 2017 and in the Senate on 27 March 2017.

The Amendment Act received the Royal Assent on 28 March 2017 as the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Act 2017 (Act No. 16 of 2017).

The changes commence from the day after Royal Assent – that is, from Wednesday 29 March 2017.

The amendments to the National Health Act 1953 :

  • enable the Minister, the Secretary of the Department of Health, and the Chief Executive Medicare to arrange for the use of computer programs to make decisions and take administrative actions on their behalf;
  • enable approved pharmacists whose pharmacy premises have been affected by disaster or exceptional circumstances to use the PBS approval for the affected premises to supply pharmaceutical benefits at alternative premises in the same locality for a limited period and be paid for claims at the full rate; and
  • ensure that pharmaceutical benefits entitlements for concessional beneficiaries and their dependants apply until midnight on the day of a person’s death.

The Amendment Act will be included on the Federal Register of Legislation and will be available via the legislation register website.

The home page for the Bill on the Parliament of Australia website details the milestones for the Bill and provides access to the text of the Bill, the Explanatory Memorandum and all Second Reading Speeches.

Also available via the home page for each bill before the Parliament is a Track option which allows users to subscribe to updates and email notifications of progress on bills.