Information about writing PBS prescriptions for authorised optometrists.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is a system of subsidising the cost of many prescription medicines.
The subsidies are available to all Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors.
You can prescribe PBS medicines listed in the Optometrical Items of the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule) as an authorised optometrist.
It is important to prescribe within the terms of your prescribing accreditation and in accordance with your state or territory legislation. You must also ensure your patient satisfies PBS entitlement requirements and meets eligibility criteria in the Schedule for supply of the medicine under the PBS.
There are 3 broad categories of pharmaceutical benefits:
|Unrestricted||Medicines prescribed through the PBS and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) without restrictions on therapeutic use|
|Restricted||Medicines prescribed through the PBS and RPBS if the prescriber is satisfied that the patient's clinical condition matches the therapeutic uses listed in the Schedule. These medicines are identified in the Schedule as a restricted benefit|
There are 2 categories for authority listed medicines:
*There are no Authority required (STREAMLINED) medicines listed in the Optometrical Items.
PBS medicine must be prescribed using an approved PBS optometrist prescription, or a computer generated PBS prescription. The prescription is used for prescribing:
- unrestricted medicines
- restricted medicines
- Authority required medicines
- non-PBS prescriptions
Additional prescribing requirements include:
- only 1 medicine can be prescribed per prescription
- you cannot prescribe more than 1 PBS prescription for the same medicine for the same person on the same day
- regulation 24 prescribing, where the original supply and all repeated supplies are provided on 1 occasion, is not permitted
- when prescribing Authority required medicines, you must obtain prior approval from us or DVA unless it is an Authority required (STREAMLINED) medicine. Prior approval is also required from us or DVA for quantities and repeats above the maximum specified in the Schedule
- prescriber’s name and qualification
- practice address
- patient's name and address
- indicate the box that is relevant to your patient, PBS or RPBS
- name, strength and form of medicine, only 1 medicine per prescription
- dose or instructions for use
- quantity and number of repeats, do not abbreviate
- your signature
- date prescription is written, forward or back dating is not permitted
- if appropriate, tick 'Brand substitution not permitted' box
- Medicare, concession and veterans' card numbers
- authority prescription number is used by the pharmacy as a reference when dispensing an approved authority prescription and repeats of that prescription. We require this number when you are applying for authority approval
- authority approval number is the approval number given by us or DVA and is only needed for Authority required medicines
A standard or computerised PBS prescription form may be used to write a non-PBS prescription. However, you must cross out the PBS and RPBS boxes and endorse the prescription as ‘non-PBS' as shown in the example.
You must write a non-PBS prescription to prescribe:
- outside the PBS restriction, when your patient's clinical condition does not match the indications listed in the Schedule
- a quantity or a number of repeats exceeding the maximum PBS quantity without an approved authority
- a medicine not listed in the Schedule
- for a patient not entitled to PBS medicines
- for a medicine outside its PBS manner of administration, for example, an eye ointment for topical non-ophthalmic use
- PBS website to view the Schedule
- Education services for health professionals to access other education resources
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