PBS Authorities

We administer the processing of pharmaceutical benefits, safety net claims as well as authority applications.

If you call the PBS Authority approvals enquiry line on 1800 888 333 and hear the emergency message, you must follow the emergency provision arrangements to prescribe an Authority required item. Read more about the emergency provision arrangements.

About the Online PBS Authorities system

Through the Online Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities system (Online system) approved prescribers (prescribers) can request authority approval for most PBS items, including increased quantity and repeats where allowed. This excludes some written Authority Required items and Alzheimer's items.

You can request PBS authority approvals online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through:

  • upgraded clinical or prescribing software (when available), or
  • Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)

There’s no need to call us for most authority approvals.

To access HPOS, you’ll need to use your Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account.

You can use PRODA, an online authentication system, to securely access many government services.

If you don’t have a PRODA account, you can register for PRODA. To log on, it only needs a username, password and verification code.

PRODA doesn’t replace organisation PKI site certificates.

You can use the Online system to:

  • request a new PBS authority approval to prescribe an authority item
  • cancel or change a request you submitted for PBS authority approval, not already dispensed, within 1 year of being prescribed, and
  • enquire about any of your approved, cancelled or rejected PBS authority approvals within 2 years of being prescribed

Log on through upgraded clinical or prescribing software

Contact your software provider about software upgrades to access the Online system using clinical or prescribing software.

Log on through HPOS

  1. Log on to HPOS using your PRODA account.
  2. On the HPOS home page, select My programs.
  3. Select PBS Authorities. The location of the PBS Authorities tile depends on the number of programs you can access.
  4. Select Record Authority to start recording a new authority for your patient.
  5. Select Search Authorities to search for an existing authority to check patient history and details of applications you’ve prescribed.

There are guides to help you request a new authority or search for an existing authority using the Online system through HPOS.

Delegation can’t be used to request a new authority or search for an authority request. This must be done by the approved prescriber.

Requesting a PBS authority approval

You can request PBS authority approval for most PBS items, including increased quantity and repeats where allowed. This doesn't include some written Authority Required items and Alzheimer's items.

The Online system shows all restriction criteria. You need to be satisfied that the patient meets the restriction criteria and provide more information about restricted items as requested.

When you process your PBS authority request, you may get a reason code of Reject, Warning, Information, and Error message. Refer to the Reason code type and Approved prescriber fix instructions for more information.

You still need to provide your patient with a prescription and follow the rules of preparing and retaining an authority prescription.

Enquire about a previously recorded PBS authority approval

You can query an existing PBS authority approval if:

  • you applied for PBS authority approval yourself, and
  • it was approved, rejected or cancelled within the last 2 years

The Online system displays PBS authority approvals processed after 1 July 2015.

Cancel or amend a previously approved PBS authority approval

You can cancel or change an existing PBS authority approval if:

  • you applied for PBS authority approval yourself
  • the item hasn't been dispensed to the patient, and
  • it was prescribed within the last year

Items excluded from the Online system

You can’t request some written Authority Required items and Alzheimer's items through the Online system. You’ll need to either contact PBS authority approvals or submit your PBS written authority documents through the form upload function in HPOS. Learn more about form upload in our eLearning module.

Contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for Repatriation PBS (RPBS) authority approval.

Submitting PBS written authority documents

You and your delegates can submit PBS written authority documents using form upload in HPOS.

You can access the form upload function through HPOS Messages, to securely send messages with forms and supporting documents directly to us.

This function confirms any forms received and stops postal delays and costs.

Before you upload your PBS written authority documents in HPOS, scan and save your PBS authority prescription or application form, and any supporting documents, as 1 PDF file to your desktop or laptop.

When you’ve uploaded the documents, you’ll get a Reference Number (Ref No) to keep with the patient’s file. This will make it easy for you to find the correct patient record when it’s been approved. The approval will be sent to your mailbox in HPOS.

Learn more about submitting PBS written authority documents through the form upload function in HPOS.

Streamlined authorities

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule) identifies certain items as Authority Required (STREAMLINED). You don't need prior approval from us or DVA to get prescriptions for listed quantities or repeats for these items to get an Authority Approval Number.

You can find the Streamlined Authority Code in the Schedule next to the text that describes the indications for which the item may be prescribed.

You need prior approval for increased quantities or repeats. Either contact us or the DVA.

Read more about the streamlined authority process.

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Page last updated: 12 July 2017

This information was printed Friday 21 July 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/enablers/pharmaceutical-benefits-scheme-authorities It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.