1. The Schedule — Where to Find What

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits is divided into sections. At the start of the Schedule, immediately after the table of contents, is a summary of any changes to listed items. This is followed by a list of important information sources, contacts and addresses, then an index of manufacturers' codes.

The last pages of the Schedule provide a generic/proprietary index of PBS and RPBS ready-prepared items.

Section 1

Section 1 is what you are reading, the Explanatory Notes. It outlines the correct way to prescribe and supply pharmaceutical benefits; patient charges; who qualifies for concessions; how the Safety Net system works; and, for pharmacists, how to claim reimbursement for PBS items.

Please note that except where indicated, the term ' prescriber' is used in this section to cover doctors, dentists, optometrists, midwives and nurse practitioners who are approved to prescribe PBS medicines under the National Health Act 1953.

And except where stated otherwise, the term ' pharmacist' means a pharmacist approved to supply medicines under the PBS.

Section 2

This section lists ready-prepared items, and includes the form, manner of administration, brand and brand equivalents which may be prescribed, and the maximum quantity and number of repeats for each item.

Prescriber bag supplies are also listed at the beginning of this section.

Medicines that have restrictions on how they can be prescribed are printed in bold italics . Items appearing in more than one therapeutic group are cross-referenced.

The second page of Section 2 explains symbols used throughout the Schedule.

The use of 'NOTE' in this section is used to clarify how some pharmaceutical benefits should be prescribed.

The use of 'CAUTION' is to warn of known adverse reactions from, or precautions to be taken with, a particular pharmaceutical benefit. (The absence of a cautionary note does not imply reactions may not happen.)

Separate lists at the end of Section 2 relate to items that can be prescribed by dentists and optometrists who work within the PBS. These are followed by a list of items that are made available under special arrangements for doctors to prescribe.

Section 3

This section lists container prices, fees related to dispensing, standard packs and prices for ready-prepared preparations.

Section 4

This section deals with extemporaneous preparations. It lists the ingredients which can be used, a table of maximum quantities and number of repeats, container prices, and a list of standard formula preparations and prices (based on formularies in common use and referred to in the Schedule as the Standard Formulae List).

Restrictions applying to the use of a pharmaceutical benefit are indicated against the item.

Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits

After Section 4, the Schedule provides information about pharmaceutical benefits under the RPBS. These may only be prescribed to DVA beneficiaries holding one of the repatriation health cards (see details under '4. Patient Charges').