Education guide - Dispensing checklist for community pharmacies

PBS dispensing checklist for community pharmacies.

Prescription validity

To be eligible for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) or Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) supply, a prescription must be valid under state or territory law and written by an approved PBS prescriber.

Prescribers are required to comply with prescribing restrictions relevant to their profession as listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule).

To ensure prescriptions are valid

  • original prescriptions must be provided in duplicate, and
    • handwritten in ink by the prescriber on a standard PBS prescription, or
    • generated by computer on a form approved by us
  • repeat or deferred authorisation forms must be attached to the related ‘Patient/Pharmacist’ copy of the prescription
  • generally prescriptions are valid for 12 months from the date of prescribing. Under state or territory laws some prescriptions are only valid for 6 months
  • Authority required and Authority required (STREAMLINED) items must be prescribed on a PBS authority prescription or approved PBS hospital prescription

Patient details

Pharmacists must ensure the patient’s full name and address is recorded on the prescription and that the pharmaceutical benefit is for the use of the prescribed person. These details are to be recorded on the prescription by the prescriber.

For claiming purposes ensure

  • the patient’s details match their Medicare card details
  • the patient’s Medicare card number is recorded – all 11 digits and the expiry date
  • there is a valid entitlement number if applicable – for example, the Health Care Card, Safety Net entitlement or concession card

Prescription details

Check the patient’s prescription includes

  • the prescriber's name, address and contact details
  • the prescriber number
  • the patient’s name and address
  • an indication whether the prescription is under the PBS or RPBS
  • sufficient information to identify the pharmaceutical benefit including name, form, strength, quantity and number of repeats
  • that the prescriber has indicated where brand substitution is not permitted
  • the authority approval number or our approval stamp for Authority required items for example, Z1234AB
  • the streamlined authority code, for example 2438, for Authority required (STREAMLINED) items
  • the prescriber's signature and date – forward or back dating is not permitted

Pharmacy dispensing software (PDS)

Prescriptions processed using Online Claiming for PBS must use PDS and conform to our requirements.

Select the correct patient profile in the PDS and enter

  • the patient’s name and address
  • the Medicare number and expiry date
  • the entitlement number and expiry date if applicable
  • the date of prescribing
  • the prescriber’s details including name, address and prescriber number
  • the item details including name, form, strength, quantity, instructions for use and number of repeats prescribed
  • the authority prescription number for Authority required items
  • the 4 digit streamlined authority code for Authority required (STREAMLINED) items

Always dispense from the original prescription and not from the attached repeat or deferred authorisation form.

Other dispensing requirements

Remember when dispensing to

  • ensure the dispensing serial labels are attached in sequence on the ‘Human Services/DVA’ copy of the prescription and make sure any details written by the prescriber can still be seen. Dispensing labels may be placed on the back of the prescription
  • resolve any online rejection and warning messages at the time of supply if applicable
  • check the pharmaceutical benefit is correctly ordered by the prescriber, entered in the PDS and supplied to the patient
  • make sure all the dispensed prescriptions and repeat authorisation forms once supplied are either:
    • signed and dated by the patient
    • signed, dated and addressed by their agent, or
    • correctly certified as supplied, and signed and dated by the pharmacist

More information

Contact us for PBS general enquiries.

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Page last updated: 5 July 2018