Prescription Shopping Programme

The Prescription Shopping Programme (PSP) helps prescribers check a patient’s prescribing history and make more informed prescribing decisions for their patient.

About the programme

The Prescription Shopping Programme (PSP) identifies patients who may get more PBS subsidised medicines than they need.

The PSP has a Prescription Shopping Information Service (PSIS) and a Prescription Shopping Alert Service (PSAS).

PSP criteria

Patients meet the PSP criteria if, in any 3 month period, they received:

  • any PBS items prescribed by 6 or more different prescribers
  • a total of 25 or more PBS target items
  • a total of 50 or more items. This includes PBS items both target and non-target, supplied to the patient.

We use PBS data, updated in the last 24 hours, to know when the patient received PBS medicine from an approved pharmacy.

Prescription Shopping Information Service

The PSIS is a phone service available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

You can call the PSIS to find out if your patient meets the PSP criteria.

You can use this information, accurate up the last 24 hours, when prescribing and talking to patients about medication.

If your patient doesn’t met the PSP criteria, we can’t give any additional information.  

Register for the PSIS

To register for the PSIS:

Using the PSIS

When you call the PSIS we’ll ask:

  • for your prescriber number
  • for your full name
  • you a security question about your identity
  • for the patient's Medicare number, full name and date of birth.

Ask us about your patients’ medications

We’ll tell you if your patient meets the PSP criteria. We’ll give you details of the:

  • number of prescribers who give your patient prescriptions
  • PBS medicines, including the dose and quantity, supplied to your patient

This information is accurate up to the last 24 hours.

We can also send you a patient summary report, through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) or we can fax it to you.

The report is a list of PBS medicines supplied to your patient in a 3 month period.

You can use this information to talk to your patient about medication and their prescriptions.

Medical practice staff can’t call the PSIS on your behalf.

Pharmacists, nurse practitioners and midwives who have a prescriber number can call the PSIS from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm AEST.

Patients who don’t meet the PSP criteria

If your patient doesn’t met the PSP criteria, we can’t give any additional information.  

If you are concerned about your patient, you can contact the health department in your state or territory about statutory reporting requirements or other programs to help you manage your patient.

Prescription Shopping Alert Service

Each month the PSAS assesses patients who meet the PSP criteria. We’ll write to you if your patients may be getting more PBS medicines than they need.

Target medicines for the PSP

When the PSAS assesses high risk patients it refers to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system and the World Health Organisation index of medicines.

Target medicines used for the PSP:


acamprosate
alprazolam
amitriptyline
asenapine
atomoxetine
bromazepam
buprenorphine
buprenorphine + naloxone
bupropion
citalopram
clonazepam
clozapine
codeine
desvenlafaxine


dexamfetamine
diazepam
dothiepin
doxepin
duloxetine
escitalopram
fentanyl
flunitrazepam
fluoxetine
fluvoxamine
gabapentin
hydromorphone
lisdexamfetamine
lithium carbonate


methadone
methylphenidate
mianserin
midazolam
mirtazapine
modafinil
morphine
naltrexone
nicotine
nitrazepam
olanzapine
oxazepam
oxycodone
oxycodone + naloxone


paracetamol + codeine
paroxetine
phenobarbitone
pregabalin
quetiapine
reboxetine
sertraline
tapentadol
temazepam
tramadol
varenicline
venlafaxine
zopiclone

What we can’t tell you

We run the programme based on privacy and legal guidelines.

We can’t tell you the PBS medicines supplied to someone who isn’t your patient.

We can’t tell you the PBS medicines supplied to your patient if:

  • they used medicine over the counter
  • a prescriber gave them samples of medication or any emergency treatment
  • a pharmacist gave them PBS medicine in an emergency
  • medicine was prescribed to them under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS)
  • medicine was supplied to them as a private prescription or as a PBS section 100 item.

How to report fraud

If your patient could be committing fraud, you should report it.

Request PBS claims information

Patients can request Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme claims information.

Patients can also request personal information releases of details we hold about them.

More information

Contact us for more information about the PSIS.

Page last updated: 20 June 2019

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