Prescription Shopping Information Service

A 24 hour, 7 days a week telephone service to assist prescribers to assess if their patient meets the criteria of the Prescription Shopping Programme.

After contacting the Prescription Shopping Information Service, if your patient met the programme’s criteria, you can access a report listing medicines supplied to your patient in the last 3 months.

About prescription shopping

This is when a patient unknowingly or deliberately gets more medicine than they need. They will visit many doctors without telling them about their other consultations. Prescribers and Approved Suppliers can access this service.

The Prescription Shopping Information Service is a 24 hour, 7 days a week telephone service that provides prescribers with up to date information on whether their patient meets the criteria of the Prescription Shopping Programme. If a prescriber suspects a patient is accessing medicine in excess of medical need, they should contact us.

We will let you know if you have prescribed to a patient of concern via an alert service. We also let the patient know that they may have been supplied more medicine than they need.

Patients get more medicines than they need because they may be:

  • stockpiling it for later use
  • satisfying a drug dependency
  • selling, exchanging or giving medicines to relatives, or
  • illegally exporting it overseas


The Prescription Shopping Programme (PSP) offers convenient access to information and advice to assist prescribers in managing patients more effectively through the Prescription Shopping Information Service (PSIS) by contacting us. Register for the Prescription Shopping Information Service (2441) (PSIS).

Once registered, a prescriber can contact us any time and find out if their patient has been identified under the Prescription Shopping Programme. if the patient meets the programme’s criteria the prescriber can elect to receive a report on the amount and type of PBS medicine supplied to that patient over the previous 3 month period.

A prescriber can receive a patient summary report via either:

To verify your identity, we will ask you to tell us:

  • your prescriber number
  • your full name
  • an answer to a personal validation question
  • You will also need to advise the patient's Medicare number, date of birth and full name
    Your staff can’t access the PSP for you

Using the service

A health professional can access this service in HPOS with an Individual PKI certificate.

Patient summary reports are only available within HPOS to prescribers registered with the Prescription Shopping Information Service. Registration is available over the phone at the time of your call to the service or through completion of a registration form available for download from within HPOS.

How to view prescription shopping patient summary reports

  • select prescription shopping information program from the left hand menu in HPOS
  • select prescription shopping patient summary reports
  • a list of reports will displayed
  • select view next to the report you want to see

Reports accessible through HPOS will be available for 14 days from the time of the prescriber’s call to the Information Service.

You do not need your patients consent to contact us. Legislative provisions are in place to allow you to get PBS information from the PSP without a patient’s consent.

Information you can get

When you call us, we will let you know if your patient has met the PSP criteria. If they have, you can find out:

  • the number of PBS medicines supplied in the previous 3 months — this includes repeat prescriptions and prescriptions issued within 12 months, and
  • the number of different prescribers. This is the number of individual prescribers identified on medicines supplied by pharmacies during the identified period.

This information is accurate up to the last 24 hours. If you want more detailed information, you can ask for a Patient Summary Report to be sent to you.

Another prescriber can get information about your patient through the PSP. You can also get information about another prescriber’s patient. Only if the patient is also your patient and they have been identified under the PSP.

We can tell you the number of prescribers identified on prescriptions supplied to your patient for the last 3 months. This may include repeat prescriptions.  Prescriber details are not included on the Patient Summary Report.

A patient who is identified by the PSP

You can still prescribe medicine to a patient who is identified by the PSP. We provide this information to help you with your prescribing decisions.

If your patient has met the criteria for a three month period, they may not be prescription shopping. We only report on individual prescribing habits. We can’t group together PBS medicines prescribed from all of the health professionals in your practice. We recommend you assess the Patient Summary Report against your records to work out what may have been prescribed from your practice.

Patient summary report

Patient Summary Reports are available to prescribers accessing the PSIS.

There are three ways you can access a report.

  1. Get a summary of the Patient Summary Report while you are on the phone to us
  2. Get a report online within five minutes. You will need access to Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).
  3. Get a report via fax. Ask us while you are on the phone.

Reports are only available if your patient meets the PSP criteria.

To get a PBS Patient Summary Report through HPOS, you will need a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Individual certificate to access the secure site.

For more information about HPOS or to register for PKI go to HPOS.

Prescriber names are not printed on Patient Summary Reports.

Report a patient

If you have concerns about a patient that hasn’t been identified by the PSP you can report it to us. We will record your request and forward it on for investigation. We will then decide if further action is needed.

To report a patient you suspect is getting more medicine than they need, call us.

Patients who don’t meet the PSP criteria

You can still get PBS information about a patient who doesn’t meet the PSP criteria. Your patient will need to complete the Authority to release personal Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme claims information to a third party (2690) form.

Patients accessing information

Patients can access their own PBS information. They will need to write to us.

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