We link Australians to PBS and specialist medicines and vaccines they need every day.
Established in 1976, the NPSA is the peak industry body representing full-line Community Service Obligation (CSO) wholesale medicine distributors. For over 100 years, we have been supporting Australians with a strong and dependable supply chain, safeguarding medicine access around the country.
Our members are the vital link between the manufacturers of medicines and more than 5,800 community pharmacies, and hospitals and primary healthcare facilities. It is through the support of the NPSA medicine distribution network that the Government can guarantee every Australian equal, timely, reliable and safe access to their PBS medicines and vaccines across the nation, typically within 24 hours.
As medicine wholesalers, NPSA members operate at the heart of the nation’s health system underpinning Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Our critical role in delivering the PBS is made possible by our direct partnership with Government via the Community Service Obligation (CSO). It is a guarantee that provides Government with supply chain reliability and transparency and ensures timely access to medicines for all.
The criticality of our role in delivering for the Government and the community has been tested in recent years where we have ensured through pandemic, flood and fire – ongoing safe and equitable medicine delivery nationwide.
Our health logistics expertise
Download information about the NPSA's network capability.
How Australia's medicines are managed under the PBS and the CSO
We're working behind the scenes all year round to ensure Australians have access to medicines no matter where they live.
Around 90% of all medicines in Australia are subsidised by Government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). PBS medicines are manufactured and transported to Australia from all over the world.
Medicine manufacturers initially store these medicines at bulk facilities commonly known as 3PLs before they are released into the NPSA national network of Distribution Centres.
Medicine wholesalers (NPSA members) on behalf of Government procure, store and manage all PBS medicines. These medicines are delivered from 3PLs into our network of 27 secure state-of-the-art Distribution Centres throughout Australia. PBS medicines whilst under our management are monitored and managed in temperature controlled environments to ensure their safety and quality.
Community pharmacies order their PBS medicines from a medicine wholesaler (NPSA member). Through Government's partnership with medicine wholesalers, via the Community Service Obligation (CSO), medicines are delivered to pharmacy, hospital and primary healthcare facilities across the country (metro, rural or remote locations) generally within 24 hours.
No matter whether a patient lives in Carnavon or Cairns they can expect to have their PBS medicines available at their community pharmacy - and if it isn't, medicine wholesalers will ensure it gets to them within 24 hours regardless of where they live - as guaranteed under the CSO.