Education guide - Dispensing and claiming for participating public hospitals

Information to help you dispense and claim Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines in participating public hospitals.


When you dispense PBS medicines in a public hospital make sure you have the following information.

Patient details

When you dispense a prescription, check the patient's:

  • full name and address - make sure you spell their name exactly as it appears on their Medicare card
  • valid Medicare card number - you must record all 11 digits and the expiry date
  • valid entitlement number if applicable - for example, their Health Care Card and PBS Safety Net card

Item details

When you dispense a prescription, make sure you record in your dispensing software:

  • the item name as specified by the prescriber
  • the item form as specified by the prescriber - for example tablets, capsules, ointment, suppository
  • the strength as specified by the prescriber
  • the quantity and number of repeats as specified by the prescriber
  • the authority prescription number for each authority required item, and
  • the streamlined authority code in the case of authority required (streamlined) items

Prescriber details

When you dispense a prescription make sure the prescription is signed and dated by the prescriber:

  • the prescriber name
  • the prescriber number, and
  • the prescription date as written on the prescription

Other requirements

You also need to:

  • stick the dispensing labels in sequence on the Department of Human Services' copy of the prescription
  • ensure the stickers don’t obscure any details written by the prescriber - you can place labels on the back of the form if extra space is needed
  • ensure the prescription is signed and dated by the patient or patient's agent or correctly certified as supplied by the pharmacist
  • ensure the patient's name is handwritten by the prescriber if you are using computer generated patient labels for your patient's details
  • ensure you dispense prescriptions written by dentists as a dental prescription and mark the prescription form 'for dental treatment only'


The following steps will help you to submit your claim correctly.

Step 1: Check claim thoroughly

When claiming PBS medicines in a participating public hospital make sure you:

  • check all the prescriptions or repeat authorisation forms are:
    • signed and dated by the patient
    • signed, dated and addressed by their agent, or
    • correctly certified as supplied by the pharmacist
  • write 'Immediate supply necessary' on the prescriptions or repeat authorisation forms, where required under regulation 25, and include the signature of the dispensing pharmacist
  • make sure data in the pharmacy dispensing software matches information on the prescriptions
  • make sure all prescriptions are entered using these categories:

    (G) General patients

    (C) Concession and Safety Net concession cardholders

    (E) Safety Net entitlement cardholders

    (R) RPBS patients

    (D) Emergency drug supplies

  • remove items from the electronic claim data list that:
    • have no documentation
    • are missing prescriptions
    • are rejected prescriptions, or
    • are not yet supplied
  • ensure you generate a new serial number and correct any details for prescriptions that need to be reclaimed

Step 2: Complete the Close a claim transaction

  • start the Close a claim transaction using your dispensing software program
  • acknowledge the certification supply statement that summarises the claim details
  • the Close a claim transaction will be sent to us for processing
  • claims closed using the Close a claim transaction will get a return message showing the claim was closed successfully - you will be able to continue to make changes to prescriptions up to 90 days from the date of claim closure
  • claims must be prepared separately if there is a change to the pharmacy approval number during the claim period
  • unless other arrangements have been made with us, only 1 claim can be lodged per month - the claim period should cover pharmaceutical benefits supplied over a period of no more than 35 days

Step 3: Keep all prescriptions and claim paperwork

  • under legislation, prescriptions must be kept in paper or electronic form for a period of 2 years - this is for post payment quality and audit checks
  • approved suppliers who claim manually need to provide us with the paper prescriptions, as well as a completed and signed claim for payment form for processing and payment - processing will attract a cost which is currently 47 cents per prescription

More information

Contact us for PBS general enquiries.

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Page last updated: 5 July 2016

This information was printed Monday 21 August 2017 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.