Optometrists approved as Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescribers are authorised to write prescriptions for certain medications under the PBS or Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).
Optometrists who prescribe under state or territory legislation may apply for approval as a PBS prescriber.
To become an approved PBS prescriber, you must:
- complete an Application for approval to prescribe medication under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) as an authorised optometrist form, and
- provide written confirmation that you're endorsed to prescribe medication from your state or territory registration authority
If your application is approved, we'll issue you with a PBS prescriber number.
Items in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits for optometrists
Prescribing in accordance with PBS restrictions
As an approved prescriber, you're responsible for complying with the rules and regulations that apply to the PBS. Information on prescribing is available from the PBS website.
Online PBS Education services for health professionals are available.
The following people are eligible for PBS benefits:
- Australian residents, and
- people from countries that have reciprocal health care agreements with Australia
Personalised PBS prescription forms are used to prescribe items listed in the Schedule on the PBS website.
To order your free personalised PBS prescription forms, complete the Order for PBS/RPBS personalised computer prescription forms for optometrists form and return the form to the Prescription Pad Order Clerk.
Optometrists are responsible for:
- adhering to their state or territory law for every PBS, RPBS and non-PBS prescription, and
- meeting all PBS or RPBS requirements for those prescriptions
On a PBS or RPBS prescription:
- your PBS prescriber number must be included, and
- only one item may be prescribed
The same prescription form is used to prescribe unrestricted, restricted or Authority required items.
Requesting an authority
You can apply for an authority approval number:
- by using the Online PBS Authorities system
- in writing, or
- by telephone
Authority prescriptions must include the authority approval number issued by us, or by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).
Read more about PBS Authorities.
PBS Authority approvals phone line - emergency provision arrangements
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.