Overview of the PBS

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises prescription medicines listed under the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits.

The PBS gives all Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors affordable access to prescription medicine. Through the PBS, the Australian Government subsidises the cost of some prescription medicine, making it more affordable.

The Department of Human Services administers the PBS. The department's role includes processing claims and paying benefits under the PBS and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits lists the medicines available under the PBS. The schedule is on the PBS website. It is updated on the first day of every month to include new listings and changes. You can download or print the schedule from the PBS website. You can also buy a printed copy or CD-ROM version. Details about where to buy these is available on the PBS website.

PBS stationery

The Camerons Group is the authorised supplier of PBS stationery, including products such as PBS prescription pads, PBS Safety Net cards and hospital prescription stationery. The Camerons Group produce and arrange delivery of PBS stationery through Australia Post. For stationery ordering details and forms, go to our PBS stationery order forms webpage.

Stoma Appliance Scheme

The Stoma Appliance Scheme is subsidised by the Australian Government. It provides free stoma-related aids and appliances to members of stoma associations. Approximately 45,000 members around Australia receive products under the scheme. More information on the Stoma Appliance Scheme is available on our website.

Online PBS Authorities System

To prescribe some PBS-subsidised medicines, prescribers have to get prior approval from the Department of Human Services. Prescribers can use the Online PBS Authorities System to apply for authority approval for most PBS items.

You can request PBS authority approvals online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through:

  • clinical or prescribing software - when available, or
  • Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)

More information about the PBS Online Authorities System is available on our website.

More information

For PBS enquiries and support, contact us.

You can access more information about PBS education for providers on our website.

Page last updated: 28 September 2018