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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
  • OPOptometrist
Premium priced brand Form & strength Max qty
packs
Max qty
units
No. of
repeats
Brand premium Benchmark priced brands
Valium Bdiazepam 5 mg tablet, 50a 1 50 0 $2.19 APO-Diazepam
Antenex 5
Ranzepam
Valpam 5
Valtrex Bvalaciclovir 500 mg tablet, 10a 2 20 0 $2.70 APO-Valaciclovir
Vaclovir
Valaciclovir AN
Valaciclovir Actavis
Valaciclovir Sandoz
Zelitrex
Valtrex Bvalaciclovir 500 mg tablet, 42a 1 42 0 $2.67 APO-Valaciclovir
Chem mart Valaciclovir
Terry White Chemists Valaciclovir
Vaclovir
Valaciclovir AN
Valaciclovir Actavis
Valaciclovir RBX
Valaciclovir Sandoz
Valaciclovir generichealth
Valacor 500
Zelitrex
Valtrex Bvalaciclovir 500 mg tablet, 30a 1 30 5 $2.68 APO-Valaciclovir
Chem mart Valaciclovir
Shilova 500
Terry White Chemists Valaciclovir
Vaclovir
Valaciclovir AN
Valaciclovir Actavis
Valaciclovir RBX
Valaciclovir SZ
Valaciclovir generichealth
Valacor 500
Zelitrex
Valtrex Bvalaciclovir 500 mg tablet, 100a 5 500 2 $2.70 APO-Valaciclovir
Valaciclovir RBX
Vasocardol Bdiltiazem hydrochloride 60 mg tablet, 90a 1 90 5 $1.90 Cardizem
Diltiazem AN
Diltiazem Actavis
Diltiazem Sandoz
Ventolin CFC-free Bsalbutamol 100 microgram/actuation pressurised inhalation, 200 actuationsa 2 2 5 $2.54 Asmol CFC-free
Ventolin Nebules Bsalbutamol 5 mg/2.5 mL inhalation solution, 20 x 2.5 mL ampoulesa 3 3 5 $0.99
Ventolin Nebules Bsalbutamol 2.5 mg/2.5 mL inhalation solution, 30 x 2.5 mL ampoulesa 2 2 5 $1.04 APO-Salbutamol
Asmol 2.5 uni-dose
Butamol 2.5
Salbutamol Actavis
Salbutamol Sandoz
Ventolin Nebules Bsalbutamol 2.5 mg/2.5 mL inhalation solution, 20 x 2.5 mL ampoulesa 3 3 5 $1.02
Viscotears Bcarbomer-980 0.2% eye gel, 10 ga 1 1 5 $3.85 Optifresh eye gel
PAA
Voltaren 25 Bdiclofenac sodium 25 mg enteric tablet, 50a 2 100 3 $3.44 APO-Diclofenac
Clonac 25
Diclofenac AN
Diclofenac Amneal
Diclofenac Sandoz
Fenac 25
Voltaren 50 Bdiclofenac sodium 50 mg enteric tablet, 50a 1 50 3 $3.46 APO-Diclofenac
Clonac 50
Diclofenac AN
Diclofenac Amneal
Diclofenac Sandoz
Fenac