Information for pharmacists

Page last updated: 23 December 2022

A lower PBS general co-payment from 1 January 2023 will help ease cost-of-living pressures for Australians. Here’s what pharmacists need to know to support their customers.

PBS Patient Discounts

The Australian Government is committed to easing cost of living pressures and ensuring that all Australians have access to high quality health care. This includes subsidising the cost of medicines through the PBS.

From 1 January 2023, pharmacists have the choice to further reduce the cost of PBS medicines for patients. This can only be done via the existing $1 ‘allowable discount’ and a new ‘discretionary discount’.  Pharmacists are not permitted to reduce the charge for an over co‑payment prescription any further under any other arrangement.

New discretionary discount for some medicines

From 1 January 2023, pharmacists also have the additional option to offer general patients a discount on prescriptions for specific eligible medicines.

The new discretionary discount (referred to as ‘increased discount’ under the National Health Act 1953) can be applied for a general patient, where the Commonwealth price of a medicine is in the range above the new co‑payment amount and previous (pre-2023) co-payment amount (both being indexed over time). In 2023, the lower threshold will be $30.00 and the upper threshold will be $45.60. Both of these amounts will be indexed from 1 January 2024.

This discount is not mandatory and is applied at the discretion of the pharmacist.

The discretionary discount is not able to be applied for concessional scripts.