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Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme restriction requirement exemptions for some medicines during the COVID 19 pandemic

Page last updated: 1 May 2020

The Australian Government is implementing a temporary measure from 1 May 2020 to allow some flexibility around PBS restrictions for eligible PBS medicines to ensure continued treatment for patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

Where a treating medical professional considers that a patient taking an eligible PBS medicine should be exempt from any specific Authority Required PBS restriction requirement, as it may put the patient at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, or cannot be completed due to social distancing or isolation requirements, a request for exemption for that PBS restriction requirement will be able to be lodged with Services Australia (Medicare) from 1 May 2020. The request for exemption will need to be included with the authority request through the normal process.

A list of eligible PBS medicines is available below.

This measure will only apply to continuation prescriptions for patients who have previously received a script for the eligible PBS medicine, and all other PBS restriction criteria that are not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will still apply.

It is a legal requirement that the prescriber note the reasons for the proposed waiver and how it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some examples of situations that may result in the prescriber seeking the exemption might include a patient not being able to attend an outpatient clinic to perform a test, because the patient is required to quarantine, or where a prescriber considers it would not be appropriate for an immunocompromised patient to attend a clinic for a consultation and the information cannot be obtained in a telehealth consultation.

This measure is being implemented based on the advice of the expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The measure will be repealed by 
30 September 2020.

Pharmaceutical items eligible for waiver from certain PBS restriction requirements during the COVID‑19 pandemic

Listed drug

Form

Abatacept

Injection 125 mg in 1 mL single dose autoinjector,

Abatacept

Injection 125 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled syringe

Abatacept

Powder for I.V. infusion 250 mg

Adalimumab

Injection 20 mg in 0.4 mL pre‑filled syringe

Adalimumab

Injection 40 mg in 0.8 mL pre‑filled syringe

Adalimumab

Injection 40 mg in 0.8 mL pre‑filled syringe, 6

Adalimumab

Injection 40 mg in 0.8 mL pre‑filled pen

Adalimumab

Injection 40 mg in 0.8 mL pre‑filled pen, 4

Adalimumab

Injection 40 mg in 0.8 mL pre‑filled pen, 6

Ambrisentan

Tablet 5 mg

Ambrisentan

Tablet 10 mg

Baricitinib

Tablet 2 mg

Baricitinib

Tablet 4 mg

Benralizumab

Injection 30 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled syringe

Benralizumab

Injection 30 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled pen

Bosentan

Tablet 62.5 mg (as monohydrate)

Bosentan

Tablet 125 mg (as monohydrate)

Certolizumab pegol

Injection 200 mg in 1 mL single use pre‑filled syringe

Certolizumab pegol

Solution for injection 200 mg in 1 mL pre‑filled pen

Dornase alfa

Solution for inhalation 2.5 mg (2,500 units) in 2.5 mL

Epoprostenol

Powder for I.V. infusion 500 micrograms (as sodium)

Epoprostenol

Powder for I.V. infusion 500 micrograms (as sodium) with 2 vials diluent 50 mL

Epoprostenol

Powder for I.V. infusion 1.5 mg (as sodium)

Epoprostenol

Powder for I.V. infusion 1.5 mg (as sodium) with 2 vials diluent 50 mL

Etanercept

Injection set containing 4 vials powder for injection 25 mg and 4 pre‑filled syringes solvent 1 mL

Etanercept

Injection 50 mg in 1 mL single use auto‑injector, 4

Etanercept

Injections 50 mg in 1 mL single use pre‑filled syringes, 4

Golimumab

Injection 50 mg in 0.5 mL single use pre‑filled pen

Golimumab

Injection 50 mg in 0.5 mL single use pre‑filled syringe

Golimumab

Injection 100 mg in 1 mL single use pre‑filled pen

Guselkumab

Injection 100 mg in 1 mL single use pre‑filled syringe

Iloprost

Solution for inhalation 20 micrograms (as trometamol) in 2 mL

Infliximab

Powder for I.V. infusion 100 mg

Ivacaftor

Sachet containing granules 50 mg

Ivacaftor

Sachet containing granules 75 mg

Ivacaftor

Tablet 150 mg

Ixekizumab

Injection 80 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled pen

Lenalidomide

Capsule 5 mg

Lenalidomide

Capsule 10 mg

Lenalidomide

Capsule 15 mg

Lenalidomide

Capsule 25 mg

Lumacaftor with ivacaftor

Sachet containing granules, lumacaftor 100 mg and ivacaftor 125 mg

Lumacaftor with ivacaftor

Sachet containing granules, lumacaftor 150 mg and ivacaftor 188 mg

Lumacaftor with ivacaftor

Tablet containing lumacaftor 100 mg with ivacaftor 125 mg

Lumacaftor with ivacaftor

Tablet containing lumacaftor 200 mg with ivacaftor 125 mg

Macitentan

Tablet 10 mg

Mannitol

Pack containing 280 capsules containing powder for inhalation 40 mg and 2 inhalers

Mepolizumab

Powder for injection 100 mg

Montelukast

Tablet, chewable, 4 mg (as sodium)

Montelukast

Tablet, chewable, 5 mg (as sodium)

Nintedanib

Capsule 100 mg

Nintedanib

Capsule 150 mg

Omalizumab

Injection 75 mg in 0.5 mL single dose pre‑filled syringe

Omalizumab

Injection 150 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled syringe

Pirfenidone

Capsule 267 mg

Pirfenidone

Tablet 267 mg

Pirfenidone

Tablet 801mg

Pomalidomide

Capsule 3 mg

Pomalidomide

Capsule 4 mg

Riociguat

Tablet 500 micrograms

Riociguat

Tablet 1 mg

Riociguat

Tablet 1.5 mg

Riociguat

Tablet 2 mg

Riociguat

Tablet 2.5 mg

Risankizumab

Injection 75 mg in 0.83 mL pre‑filled syringe

Rituximab

Solution for I.V. infusion 500 mg in 50 mL

Secukinumab

Injection 150 mg in 1 mL pre‑filled pen

Sildenafil

Tablet 20 mg (as citrate)

Somatropin

Injection 0.4 mg (1.2 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 0.6 mg (1.8 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 0.8 mg (2.4 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 1 mg (3 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 1.2 mg (3.6 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 1.4 mg (4.2 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 1.6 mg (4.8 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 1.8 mg (5.4 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 2 mg (6 i.u.) with diluent in single use syringe (without preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 4 mg (12 i.u.) vial with diluent (with preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 18 i.u. (6 mg) cartridge with 3.15 mL diluent (with preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 72 i.u. (24 mg) cartridge with 3.15 mL diluent (with preservative)

Somatropin

Powder for injection 5 mg (15 i.u.) with diluent in pre‑filled pen (with preservative)

Somatropin

Powder for injection 12 mg (36 i.u.) with diluent in pre‑filled pen (with preservative)

Somatropin

Injection 36 i.u. (12 mg) cartridge with 3.15 mL diluent (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 5 mg (15 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative) in pre‑filled pen

Somatropin

Solution for injection 5 mg (15 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 6 mg (18 i.u.) in 1.03 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 10 mg (30 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 10 mg (30 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative) in pre‑filled pen

Somatropin

Solution for injection 10 mg (30 i.u.) in 2 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 12 mg (36 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 15 mg (45 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Somatropin

Solution for injection 15 mg (45 i.u.) in 1.5 mL cartridge (with preservative) in pre‑filled pen

Somatropin

Solution for injection 20 mg (60 i.u.) in 2.5 mL cartridge (with preservative)

Tadalafil

Tablet 20 mg

Tezacaftor with ivacaftor and ivacaftor

Pack containing 28 tablets tezacaftor 100 mg with ivacaftor 150 mg and 28 tablets ivacaftor 150 mg

Tildrakizumab

Injection 100 mg in 1 mL single dose pre‑filled syringe

Tocilizumab

Concentrate for injection 80 mg in 4 mL

Tocilizumab

Concentrate for injection 200 mg in 10 mL

Tocilizumab

Concentrate for injection 400 mg in 20 mL

Tocilizumab

Injection 162 mg in 0.9 mL single use pre‑filled pen

Tocilizumab

Injection 162 mg in 0.9 mL single use pre‑filled syringe

Tofacitinib

Tablet 5 mg

Ustekinumab

Injection 45 mg in 0.5 mL

Ustekinumab

Solution for I.V. infusion 130 mg in 26 mL

Vedolizumab

Powder for injection 300 mg