Sources of data for use in generating utilisation estimates
Page last updated: 1 July 2016
A number of sources of data are available to be used when preparing utilisation estimates for submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Some key sources of data are summarised below.
Australian Government Sources
- Australian Health Survey (previously the National Health Survey)
- Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
- Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (previously the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey)
- PBS statistics including the Australian Statistics on Medicines (ASM) annual publication. The data available in the ASM represent estimates of the aggregate community use of prescription medicines in Australia. Estimates of private prescriptions ceased in 2012.
- The Date-of-Processing and Date-of-Supply tables provide PBS Section 85 prescription and expenditure information on both the date-of-supply and the date‑of-processing
- Statistics for payment and services
- Pharmaceutical Benefits and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Schemes (Does not include data on under-copayment or private prescriptions. Data is reported based on month of processing)
- Practice Incentives Program and Service Incentive Payments
- Medicare Benefits Scheme
State and National Linked Data Sources
Medicine utilisation data can be linked with multiple data sources on a state level which provide results that can be generalised nationally. Such linkages will enable individual level studies of medicine use and associated health outcomes.
- Population Health Research Network
The Population Health Research Network (PHRN) is a program aimed at creating Australia's first national data linkage network. Established with the backing of the Australian Government (as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) and supported by every Australian state and territory, the PHRN is building a network that will enable existing health data from around the nation to be brought together and made available for vital health and health related research purposes. This research enables health care planners, providers and policy makers to respond more effectively to the changing needs of the Australian population.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
The linkage of Commonwealth/national data is conducted under the Commonwealth Data Integration Scheme. Researchers seeking to link Commonwealth data should contact the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The AIHW can guide applicants through the Scheme.
Commercial and Other Sources
The following sources provide data and analysis services that may be useful in generating utilisation estimates for submissions to the PBAC and have previously been used in submissions to the PBAC.
- General Practice Research Network (GPRN) – Medical Director
- Hi Connections Pty Ltd (email address)
- IMS Health
- MedicineInsight - National Prescribing Service
Disease or gender based sources
Information on specific medical conditions is available from a number of sources such as disease state specific organisations, associations, foundations and research institutes. More general information is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
- 45 and Up Study (Sax Institute)
More than a quarter of a million people — one in 10 NSW men and women aged over 45 — have been recruited to the 45 and Up Study, the largest ongoing study of healthy ageing in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)
This study has been examining the health and wellbeing of Australian women since 1996.
- Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men Study)
The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health, also known as the Ten to Men Study, is a longitudinal population-based study which focuses on building a strong evidence base in male health. The Study commenced in 2011.
- Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab)
The largest Australian longitudinal population-based study examining the natural history of diabetes, pre-diabetes (in which glucose metabolism is impaired but not to the level to cause diabetes), heart disease and kidney disease.
- Clinical Quality Registries in Australia
Feedback, including suggestions for additional sources or organisations who wish to be added, is welcome and should be forwarded to:
Email: Drug Utilisation Section (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Drug Utilisation Section
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601