News & Media

News & Media

Strong links save lives

NPSA members are constantly working to ensure all Australians have equal and timely access to the medicines they need.  Our 27 national distribution centres operate around the clock with a specialised workforce of 3400 employees who understand the complexities of the medicine supply chain.

Learn more about our operations, commitment to sustainability of medicine access and what this means for patients.

NPSA statement on the CSO and rural and remote pharmacy

June 2024

The Community Service Obligation (CSO) protects and serves the interests of patients – not only in the major cities- but in rural and remote parts of Australia to ensure equitable and timely access to PBS medicines through local community pharmacy.


Wholesalers stock and supply the full range of PBS medicines and distribute them fairly to more than 5,800 pharmacies nationwide all year round.


This includes the handling of high care and cold chain medicines, NDSS services and product recalls.


The CSO funding pool underpins this service, aiming to make it commercially viable for distributors to deliver to a pharmacy whether it be in the inner city, outer suburbs or a remote outback town.


When shortages arise, the CSO wholesalers work with government and supply chain stakeholders to fairly manage available onshore medicine inventory for all community pharmacies.


All CSO distributors comply with strict reporting requirements and are subject to independent auditing, ensuring transparency and compliance with government service standards.

Minister Mark Butler visits an NPSA Wholesale Medicine Distribution Centre

NPSA was very pleased to host Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care at one of our newest high tech distribution centres to discuss the vital role the medicine wholesalers play in maintaining the health of all Australians.



During a tour of the facility in early March, the Minister saw firsthand the world-class infrastructure and systems that operate across NPSA’s national network of 27 distribution centres.

Our investment, along with the Government-funded Community Service Obligation (CSO), ensures that every step in the supply chain is carefully managed and that vital medicines are rapidly and seamlessly dispatched to pharmacy and the patients who need them, not only in the major cities but in every rural and remote part of Australia.


NPSA thanks Minister Butler for taking time to meet our Board, executives and employees onsite and for recognising the importance of our work.

APP 2024

NPSA Deputy Chair Brett Barons addressed the State of the Industry panel session at the annual APP conference in April 2024.


Brett spoke about the achievements of NPSA members over the previous 12 months and the robustness of the medicine distribution network in meeting patient needs. He noted that Australia’s world class healthcare system relies on Government investment in both the pharmacy sector and the wholesaler supply chain.  It’s an investment that has, and continues to be, centred around good patient outcomes, which are only possible with a strong, sustainable and future-proof supply chain.


Read Brett’s speech here, along with the NPSA presentation slide.

How the latest medicines get into the remotest communities

In a feature story, The Mandarin examines how NPSA members service the health needs of rural and remote communities with reliable medicine distribution.  


 “In terms of a public health policy, this service has been one of the most effective and reliable health policies in the last 20 years,” says NPSA Chief Executive Elizabeth Cuming. “It’s a world-class system of distributing medicines underpinned by the CSO, which is a globally unique mechanism ingeniously designed to meet the challenges of our vast geography.”


Read more here: How the latest medicines get into the remotest communities