Ulcerative colitis

The PBS subsidises biological agents for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

Patient eligibility

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises treatment with biological agents under the National Health Act 1953, sections 85 and 100 for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

Where the term biological agent appears, it refers to:

  • adalimumab
  • golimumab
  • infliximab
  • vedolizumab.

Patients must be eligible for the PBS and meet the relevant restriction criteria.

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits on the PBS website outlines the restrictions for prescribing biological agents.

Section 100 arrangements

Infliximab and vedolizumab

These items are only PBS subsidised for a day admitted patients, non-admitted patients, or patients on discharge who are attending either:

  • an approved private hospital
  • a public participating hospital
  • a public hospital.

You must include the hospital name and provider number on the authority application form. These items aren't PBS subsidised for hospital in-patients.

Toxicity and severity descriptors

When demonstrating a patient’s intolerance to prior treatment, use the ulcerative colitis toxicity and severity descriptors with the authority application.

Treatment specifics

To be eligible for PBS subsidised treatment with biological agents, patients must be treated by one of the following specialists:

  • gastroenterologist (code 87)
  • consultant physician (internal medicine specialising in gastroenterology) (code 81)
  • consultant physician (general medicine specialising in gastroenterology) (code 82)
  • paediatrician - paediatric patients only
  • specialist paediatric gastroenterologist - paediatric patients only.

Treatment with golimumab and vedolizumab is only available to adult patients.

Applications

Adult patients

Initial treatment

Apply for authority approval to prescribe initial PBS subsidised biological agents to treat adult patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in writing and either:

All applications must include the completed:

Initial grandfather treatment

For adult patients who received non-PBS subsidised vedolizumab before 1 August 2015 for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, apply for initial grandfather authority approval in writing and either:

All applications must include the completed:

Changing or recommencing treatment

Apply for authority approval to change or recommence PBS subsidised biological agents to treat adult patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in writing and either:

All applications must include the completed:

You can use this authority application form to submit a demonstration of response to the current PBS subsidised treatment.

Continuing treatment

Apply for authority approval to continue PBS subsidised biological agents to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Continuing treatment with PBS subsidised biosimilar brands of biological agents are Authority Required (Streamlined). They don’t require authority approval from us for the listed quantity and repeats.

Paediatric patients

Initial treatment

Apply for authority approval to prescribe initial PBS subsidised biological agents to treat paediatric patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in writing and either:

All applications must include the completed:

Changing or recommencing treatment

Apply for authority approval to change or recommence PBS subsidised biological agents to treat paediatric patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in writing and either:

All applications must include the completed:

You can use this authority application form to submit a demonstration of response to the current PBS subsidised treatment.

Continuing treatment

To apply for continuing PBS subsidised biological agents to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis call the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Continuing treatment with PBS subsidised biosimilar brands of biological agents are Authority Required (Streamlined). They don’t require authority approval from us for the listed quantity and repeats.

More information

Call the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line for more information.

Page last updated: 28 October 2019