Testosterone: Utilisation analysis

Page last updated: 5 June 2015

Drug utilisation sub-committee (DUSC)

October 2012



At its June 2012 meeting the DUSC noted a recently published research article highlighted an increase in Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)-subsidised testosterone prescribing1. The DUSC considered it timely to review the utilisation of testosterone and requested a report be prepared for consideration at its October 2012 meeting.

This analysis examines the utilisation of PBS listed testosterone over the past decade (January 2002 to December 2011).


The analysis used de-identified pharmacy claim data for PBS-subsidised prescriptions, extracted from the DUSC database for the period January 2002 to December 2011. Data were extracted based on the date of prescription supply and so there may be small differences compared with publicly available Department of Human Services (DHS) Medicare date of processing data.

Key Findings

  • Utilisation of PBS-subsidised testosterone has doubled over the past five years.
  • The listing of two products, testosterone transdermal gel and intramuscular injection 1000 mg, have driven the growth in the market.
  • There is a trend towards more general practitioners initiating therapy.
  • In 2011, Government expenditure for testosterone preparations was $14.6 million, up from $5.6 million in 2005. This is a growth of 260 % over 5 years.
  • Most initiations are for patients aged 40-79 years.

Full Report




[1] Handelsman DJ. Pharmacoepidemiology of testosterone prescribing in Australia, 1992–2010. Med J Aust 2012; 196 (10): 642-645. doi: 10.5694/mja11.11277.