Projects Pharmaceuticals

Community Service Obligation (CSO) Funding Pool Administration Agency

$200 million
per year
2 million
lines of data per month
5,700
community pharmacies

Projects Pharmaceuticals

Community Service Obligation (CSO) Funding Pool Administration Agency

$200 million
per year
2 million
lines of data per month
5,700
community pharmacies

Projects Pharmaceuticals

Community Service Obligation (CSO) Funding Pool Administration Agency

$200 million
per year
2 million
lines of data per month
5,700
community pharmacies

The CSO Funding Pool commenced on 1 July 2006. It was established under the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement (4CPA) between the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and continued under the 5CPA and current 6CPA.

The CSO Funding Pool provides funding of almost $200 million per annum to eligible CSO Distributors that meet specific service standards for the delivery of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines to community pharmacies.

Its purpose is to ensure that all Australians have timely access to the PBS medicines they need, regardless of where they live. This is achieved through ensuring that all of Australia’s 5,700 community pharmacies can order any brand of PBS medicine and receive delivery within 24 to 72 hours.

The CSO Funding Pool makes it commercially viable for pharmaceutical wholesalers to supply the full range of PBS medicines to pharmacies across Australia, regardless of pharmacy location and the relative cost of supply. Under these arrangements, CSO payments are provided directly to wholesalers who supply the full range of PBS medicines to any pharmacy, within 24 to 72 hours, and who meet certain service standards.

AHA has administered the CSO Funding Pool since 2007. This role involves several complex functions, including:

  • Securely collect, store and analyse around 2 million lines of confidential data per month
  • Undertake calculations of payment to eligible CSO Distributors, totalling almost $200 million annually
  • Monitor the performance of CSO Distributors against the CSO Service Standards and Compliance Requirements
  • Administer a complaints process and a sanctions framework.

The CSO Service Standards and Compliance Requirements define the minimum services, standards and operating arrangements which CSO Distributors must meet to be eligible for payment. These include a requirement to stock the full range of PBS items and to deliver them to any pharmacy in Australia (except a few very remote locations) generally within 24 hours of ordering. CSO Distributors must:

  1. Supply to any Community Pharmacy within their national or state jurisdiction, including rural and remote pharmacies
  2. Supply any brand of any PBS medicine (as defined) on request, including Low Volume PBS Medicines
  3. Maintain specified stocks of PBS Medicines
  4. Supply PBS medicines at or below the Approved Price to Pharmacist
  5. Supply PBS medicines promptly, within 24 to 72 hours
  6. Make available a daily delivery service to community pharmacies within their national or state jurisdiction as part of its standard service delivery infrastructure.

Further information about the operation of the CSO Funding Pool and the obligations of CSO Distributors is available at the Department of Health’s CSO website and 6CPA website.

Community pharmacies are able to lodge a complaint about the performance of any CSO distributor (wholesaler) who has failed to comply with the CSO Service Standards and Compliance Requirements.

Complaints can be lodged in writing, either:

electronically to: admin@csoagency.com.au

or in hard copy to:
Complaints Officer
CSO Funding Pool Administration Agency
Locked Bag 32005
Collins Street East, VIC 8003

or call us: 1300 309 213.

Further detail about lodging a complaint is available on the Department of Health’s CSO website.

The CSO Funding Pool ensures that all Australians have timely access to the PBS medicines they need, regardless of where they live.