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60-day prescribing and dispensing of PBS Streamlined Authority medicines

Posted on January 31, 2024

In September 2023, 60-day prescribing and dispensing was introduced for a number of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

For medications that are subject to PBS Streamlined Authority, different Authority codes exist for 30-day and 60-day supplies.

This means that if an existing prescription for a 30-day supply of a Streamlined Authority medication is reissued and the quantity is manually changed to request a 60-day supply, the Authority code will be invalid for the larger quantity intended by the prescriber and the pharmacy will be unable to dispense this to the patient.

For patients who are eligible to have a larger quantity (e.g. stable on treatment) of a medication subject to a PBS Streamlined Authority and this is deemed appropriate by the prescriber, the key steps are:

  • cease the existing 30-day item
  • re-prescribe as a 60-day item and ensure the correct Streamlined Authority code is entered.

Examples of drugs affected:

  • direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for non-valvular atrial fibrillation
  • ezetimibe for hypercholesterolaemia
  • febuxostat for chronic gout
  • ticagrelor following acute coronary syndrome.

More information is available on the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website here.