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BRAND PREMIUM POLICY

BRANDS OF PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFIT ITEMS WHICH HAVE A BRAND PREMIUM AND THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits shows differences in price between some alternative brands of the same drug product.

Manufacturers can develop generic equivalents and apply to have them listed on the PBS. In doing this, manufacturers need to ensure that they comply with the relevant legislation applicable to patents. These brands are clinically equivalent and must undergo the same strict quality controls. Although these brands are designed to act on the body in exactly the same way, they are usually cheaper than the originator brands.

The Australian Government, through the PBS, subsidises up to the price of the lowest priced brand (except in those instances where the lowest priced brand has, as part of its price, a therapeutic group premium). This means that consumers may have to pay extra for more expensive brands (those with a brand premium). This extra amount does not count towards their PBS safety net threshold.

Brand substitution by pharmacists without reference to the prescriber is permitted for PBS prescriptions where:

  • the patient agrees to the substitution;
  • the brands are identified in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits as being interchangeable;
  • the prescriber has not indicated on the prescription form that substitution is not to occur; and
  • substitution is permitted under the relevant State or Territory legislation.

Prescription forms supplied by Department of Human Services contain a box to be ticked where brand substitution is not to take place.

Prescribers not using these prescription forms should endorse the prescription if brand substitution is not permitted. Where a stamp is used for this purpose, the prescriber will be required to initial the stamped statement.

For ease of prescribing and dispensing, and in the interests of your patients, the following list shows those PBS drugs that attract a brand premium and that can be substituted where permitted. They are listed alphabetically, by brand name, with the brand premium and benchmark brand(s) cited in the last column.

  • Legend
  • PPalliative care items
  • BBrand premium applies
  • aBrand equivalent a
  • DPDentist
  • MPMedical Practitioner
  • NPNurse Practitioner
Premium priced brand Form & strength Max qty
packs
Max qty
units
No. of
repeats
Brand premium Benchmark priced brands
Salazopyrin-EN BSULFASALAZINE Tablet 500 mg (enteric coated), 100a 2 200 5 $4.00 Pyralin EN
Septrin Btrimethoprim 40 mg/5 mL + sulfamethoxazole 200 mg/5 mL oral liquid, 100 mL 1 1 1 $5.69
Septrin Forte Btrimethoprim 160 mg + sulfamethoxazole 800 mg tablet, 10a 1 10 1 $4.17 Bactrim DS
Resprim Forte
Septrin Forte Btrimethoprim 160 mg + sulfamethoxazole 800 mg tablet, 10a 3 30 2 $12.51 Bactrim DS
Resprim Forte
Serepax Boxazepam 30 mg tablet, 25a 1 25 0 $2.33 APO-Oxazepam
Alepam 30
Murelax
Serepax Boxazepam 30 mg tablet, 25a 2 50 5 $4.66 APO-Oxazepam
Alepam 30
Murelax
Serepax Boxazepam 15 mg tablet, 25a 1 25 0 $2.66 Alepam 15
Serepax Boxazepam 15 mg tablet, 25a 2 50 5 $5.32 Alepam 15
Sigmacort Bhydrocortisone acetate 1% cream, 50 ga 1 1 1 $2.35 Cortic-DS 1%
Sigmacort Bhydrocortisone acetate 1% ointment, 50 ga 1 1 1 $2.35 Cortic-DS 1%
Sinemet 100/25 Blevodopa 100 mg + carbidopa anhydrous 25 mg tablet, 100a 1 100 5 $4.85 Kinson
Sinequan Bdoxepin 10 mg capsule, 50 1 50 2 $7.00
Sinequan Bdoxepin 25 mg capsule, 50 1 50 2 $7.00
Singulair Bmontelukast 5 mg chewable tablet, 28a 1 28 5 $3.00 APO-Montelukast
Auro-Montelukast Tabs 5
Chem mart Montelukast
Lukair
Montelukast AN
Montelukast GH
Montelukast Sandoz 5
Respikast 5
Terry White Chemists Montelukast
Singulair Bmontelukast 4 mg chewable tablet, 28a 1 28 5 $3.00 APO-Montelukast
Auro-Montelukast Tabs 4
Chem mart Montelukast
Lukair
Montelukast AN
Montelukast GH
Montelukast Sandoz 4
Respikast 4
Terry White Chemists Montelukast
Slow-K Bpotassium chloride 600 mg (potassium 8 mmol) modified release tablet, 100a 2 200 1 $3.00 Duro-K
Sofradex Bframycetin sulfate 0.5% + gramicidin 0.005% + dexamethasone 0.05% ear drops, 8 mLa 1 1 2 $1.66 Otodex
Sotacor Bsotalol hydrochloride 80 mg tablet, 60a 1 60 5 $4.33 APO-Sotalol
Cardol
Solavert
Sotalol Sandoz
Sotacor Bsotalol hydrochloride 160 mg tablet, 60a 1 60 5 $4.33 APO-Sotalol
Cardol
Solavert
Sotalol Sandoz
Stemetil Bprochlorperazine maleate 5 mg tablet, 25a 1 25 0 $3.00 APO-Prochlorperazine
ProCalm
Prochlorperazine AN
Prochlorperazine GH
Prochlorperazine-GA
Stemzine