Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net
Many medicines cost much more than you pay—some cost hundreds of dollars. The Australian Government pays for some of it for you through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
If you or your family need a lot of medicine, the PBS Safety Net helps you with the costs.
Once you or your family reach your Safety Net threshold, you can get a PBS Safety Net card from your pharmacist. With this card, your PBS medicine will be cheaper, or free, for the rest of the calendar year. If you choose a higher-priced brand of medicine, or your doctor prescribes one, you may need to pay more.
You must keep a record of your PBS medicines on a Prescription Record Form, which you can get from your pharmacy. Each time you get a PBS medicine give your form to your pharmacist who will update it. If you have a family, ask your pharmacist to combine the amounts for your family Safety Net total.
Your pharmacist might be able to keep a computer record for you, but if you visit different pharmacies, it is best to keep your own paper record.
If your doctor has written a non-PBS or private prescription, you will have to pay the full price for this medicine. These medicines do not count towards the PBS Safety Net threshold.
About the PBS Safety Net family
If you combine your family's PBS medicines you might reach the PBS Safety Net threshold sooner. You can then get a PBS Safety Net card from your pharmacist.
A PBS Safety Net family is:
- a couple legally married and not separated, or a couple in a de facto relationship with or without dependent children, or
- a single person with dependent children
A dependent child is someone under 16 years, or a full time student under 25 years attending school, college or university, whom you wholly or substantially support.
The PBS Safety Net threshold
When you are close to reaching the PBS Safety Net threshold, ask your pharmacist how to get a PBS Safety Net card.
Changing your Safety Net registration and ordering a new Safety Net card
If you need to make changes to your PBS Safety Net registration or if you have lost your PBS Safety Net card, fill in a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net amendment, replacement or supplementary card application and post it to:
PBS Processing Centre
GPO Box 9826
in your capital city