The following is a message from the Department of Health and Aged Care (the department) regarding the Take Home Naloxone (THN) Program.

Thank you for your support of the THN Program. The department appreciates your support in providing naloxone to people who are at risk of, or who may witness, an opioid overdose or adverse reaction.

The department has updated the THN Program Rules to clarify entitlements for the payment of fees consistent with the requirements of the National Health (Take Home Naloxone) Special Arrangement 2019 (THN Special Arrangement). The department has identified that since commencement of the program, Service Providers have been reimbursed one dispensing fee per pack of naloxone supplied. The affected Service Providers are:

  • section 90* approved community pharmacies
  • section 92* approved medical practitioners
  • section 94* approved hospital pharmacies (private).

*PBS approved suppliers under sections 90, 92 and 94 of the National Health Act 1953. A separate communication will be provided regarding section 94 approved hospital pharmacies, the information in this letter is not applicable to section 94 approved suppliers.

In accordance with the THN Special Arrangement, affected pharmacies are entitled to a single dispensing fee for each supply of a pharmaceutical benefit, which could be up to 2 packs of the same naloxone products.

Table 1: maximum quantities for benefits supplied under the THN Program

Maximum quantity or number of units Units per pack
10 ampules 1 pack of 5 ampules
2 pre-filled syringes 1 pre-filled syringe
4 nasal sprays 1 pack of 2 nasal sprays

If an affected pharmacy is supplying:

  • one pack of naloxone, the pharmacy is entitled to one dispensing fee and one Administration, Handling and Infrastructure (AHI) fee
  • 2 packs of the same naloxone product, the pharmacy is entitled to one dispensing fee and 2 AHI fees
  • 2 packs of different naloxone formulations, the pharmacy is entitled to 2 dispensing fees and 2 AHI fees.

The department is working with the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) to update the claiming portal to ensure that the portal functionality meets the requirements of the THN Special Arrangement. The claiming portal is expected to be updated by March 2024.

To maintain compliance with claiming the appropriate entitlement, pharmacies are strongly encouraged to supply and claim one unit of naloxone (not 2 of the same product) until the claiming portal is updated. Alternatively, 2 packs of the same naloxone product can continue to be supplied but cannot be claimed until the portal has been updated.

Where 2 packs of the same naloxone product have previously been provided to consumers and not yet claimed, these should also be held and submitted once the claiming portal has been updated.

The department recognises pharmacies have been submitting claims through the claiming portal in good faith and the department is working with the program administrator to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.

Some pharmacies may be aware claiming was suspended from 20 – 22 December 2023. Please be advised claiming on the PPA Portal has resumed. Pharmacies are entitled to reimbursement for naloxone supplied throughout the suspension period.

Should you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the PPA Support Centre via or via 1800 951 285.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of the THN Program.