The Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA) is paid to rural pharmacies based on:

  • The remoteness of the pharmacy according to the Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index (PhARIA), and
  • The level of PBS and RPBS prescriptions claimed.

The RPMA recognises the additional financial burden of maintaining a pharmacy in rural and remote areas of Australia through payment of a monthly allowance to eligible proprietors of approved pharmacies.

The Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA) will be updated from 1 July 2019 to reflect expansion of urban centre boundaries driven by population growth and migration using data from the most recent Census.

The update will continue to consider professional isolation as a factor in determining the classification, so if there are eight or more pharmacies in any location it will be considered as PhARIA 1.

The PhARIA update will potentially impact pharmacy eligibility for RPMA.  Pharmacies that are no longer eligible will receive a notification detailing the changes.

Pharmacies in areas re-classified to PhARIA 1 may be eligible for RPMA in certain circumstances.  Further details will be provided to these pharmacies shortly.