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Request a new authority using the Online PBS Authorities system on HPOS

How to request a new authority using the Online Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities system on Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

You can request PBS authority approvals online through:

  • HPOS or
  • upgraded clinical and prescribing software when available

To access the Online PBS Authorities system, you need to register for a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account. If you do not have a PRODA account, create a new account via the department’s website and follow the relevant steps.

As an approved prescriber, you no longer need to call us to request PBS authority approval for:

  • the majority of PBS items (excluding some complex written Authority Required items and Alzheimer's items), and
  • increased quantities or repeats for those items

You and your delegate can submit PBS written authority documents using form upload in HPOS. The form upload function can be accessed through HPOS Messages. Form upload lets you securely send messages with forms and supporting documents directly to us. This function confirms forms have been received and stops postal delays and costs.

Existing phone and written arrangements for Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) approvals through the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Approval Centre (VAPAC) remain unchanged.

Learn more about form upload in HPOS.

Step 1: log on to HPOS and access PBS Authorities

Once you have logged on to HPOS, select My programs on your homepage to display a list of programs you have access to.

Select PBS Authorities to access the Online PBS Authorities system.

The location of the PBS Authorities tile may differ depending on how many programs you have access to.

Step 2: select Record Authority

To start requesting a new authority for your patient, select Record Authority.

Step 3: enter patient Medicare Number

Enter your patient’s 11 digit Medicare number without any spaces or slashes, then select Search.

The search results will appear with the selected Medicare Number as well as the:

  • patient’s name
  • date of birth, and
  • Medicare number and expiry

Select the tick box for the patient the item is being prescribed for, then select Next.

Step 4: enter Authority Prescription Number

Enter the Authority Prescription Number as shown on the PBS authority prescription pad, then select Next.

Step 5: select the PBS item to be prescribed

Search for the item to be prescribed. This can be done by entering the brand name as Keyword or by entering the PBS item code, then select Search.

Tip: type the first few letters to find the item you’re prescribing. For example 'dexam' will display results such as 'dexamphetamine', 'dexamethasone', 'dexamethasone + framycetin sulfate + gramicidin'.

Select the tick box for the item that will be prescribed, then select Next.

Step 6: select the required PBS restriction

Any notes, cautions and warnings can be viewed by selecting Display Restriction Detail.

Select the tick box for the required restriction, then select Next.

The Restriction Text, Notes and Cautions pop-up will display. It provides further information about the PBS Restriction in accordance with the PBS website listing.

Select Next once you have read the information provided.

Step 7: answer questions associated with PBS restriction

A PBS restriction may require additional information to be provided by answering questions. Answers may be provided in the form of free text, a number or selected from a drop down menu.

Select Next once all questions have been answered.

Step 8: enter prescription quantity and repeats, and submit your application

The Authority Prescription screen displays information about the current patient and the item being prescribed.

The quantity and repeats will default to the listed maximum quantities and number of repeats for the item. These can be changed if required, where permitted.

The mandatory fields are Daily Dose and the Declaration Statement tick box. Review the application then select Submit for your application to be assessed.

Note: the daily dose field is required to calculate the number of treatment days and application of the ‘too soon’ rule. Enter a number from 1 to 999, for example enter 4 for 4 tablets per day.

Adding the ‘+’ symbol at the end of a number represents a value between the number and the next whole number. For example enter 1+ to represent a daily dose between 1 and 2, such as 1.5 tablets or 1.75ml.

Enter the following if a daily dose can’t be measured:

  • X for items that are not measured by dosage, such as creams and ointments, or for items that are used less frequently, such as patches used weekly
  • D for directions given to the patient but not entered into the application, and
  • N for no directions given to the patient or entered into the application

Step 9: application assessment result

The authority assessment result will display in real-time.

The possible assessment results for the PBS Authority application include:

  • Authority not required
  • Approved
  • Approved with changes
  • Cancelled
  • Rejected, and
  • Previously rejected/now approved

If the application has been approved, write the PBS Authority Approval Number and PBS item code on your prescription.

Note: a PBS authority approval number and unique authority ID will be generated for each approved application.

The unique authority ID is a system generated unique number used to link you to the authority record. This number is used to change or enquire about an authority approval through the web service channel.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities homepage.

Further information

Time out screen

If your PRODA session times out, you’ll need to re-enter your PRODA username and password to get your authentication message. Enter the authentication code into the system, then select the PBS Authorities link to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

Invalid Authority Prescription Number

If the number isn’t valid you’ll need to select Amend Number to re-enter the Authority Prescription Number. Your PBS authority application will be rejected at the application Assessment Result screen if you select continue and don’t amend the invalid Authority Prescription Number.

Tip: alphabetical characters are invalid values for an Authority Prescription Number. If the Authority Prescription Number is entered with alphabetical characters, the error message will display 154: Invalid value/s in the following fields: Authority Prescription Number.

Hospital Provider Number

The hospital provider number field is only mandatory for HSD public or private hospital items.

Overriding an assessment result

You may override a rejected application when:

  • another authority prescription for the same item has previously been approved, and
  • adequate supplies should still exist (‘too soon’ rule)

The reasons for override include:

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Destroyed
  • Inaccessible
  • Change in Dose
  • Regulation 24
  • Special Drugs
  • Ineffective
  • Contra-indicating
  • Adverse Reaction
  • Break in Therapy, and
  • Change in Strength

Select from the Reason Code Override drop down and select Resubmit.

Note: if the date of prescribing is different to the previous application, the Resubmit Authority pop up will display with the warning - By re-submitting this authority request the original date of prescribing will be overridden. Do you want to continue?

Select Yes, confirming that the original date of prescribing will be overridden.

The updated PBS item details display at the top of the screen and have the Previously rejected/now approved assessment result.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

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Page last updated: 13 July 2017

This information was printed Tuesday 22 August 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/enablers/request-new-authority-using-online-pbs-authorities-system-hpos 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.