PBS News

1 November 2023 changes to the PBS listings of medicines for children and adolescents with Chronic Plaque Psoriasis

Page last updated: 23 October 2023

On 1 November 2023, changes will be made to the authority requirements of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing for etanercept, for the treatment of children and adolescents with severe Chronic Plaque Psoriasis.

From this date, the PBS listings of etanercept for initial therapy will change from Authority Required (Written), to Authority Required (telephone/immediate online assessment). The PBS listings to complete a course of treatment will change to Authority Required (Streamlined). 

The intention of these changes is to ease the administrative burden for prescribers and facilitate patient access to these treatments.

Why are these changes happening?

For information about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBAC) recommendations that are leading to these changes, please read the outcome statement available on the PBS website.

Information for prescribers

What is changing?

From 1 November 2023, if you wish to prescribe etanercept for your eligible patients, you may do so either by contacting Services Australia via telephone or by using Services Australia’s Online PBS Authorities system (OPA). You will receive an immediate outcome for your request. Once your patient’s eligibility is confirmed, they can leave the appointment with their prescription.

You will no longer need to seek prior approval from Services Australia to prescribe continuing treatment to complete the course of treatment with etanercept (covering weeks 16 to 24).

Please note, if you are changing your patient from treatment with etanercept to ustekinumab, you will need to provide Services Australia with baseline disease severity indicators.

What has not changed?

The PBS eligibility criteria for etanercept for the treatment of children and adolescents with severe chronic plaque psoriasis have not changed.  However, some of the wording in the PBS listings may have changed because of the changes to authority type.

When prescribing using the Authority Required (Streamlined) listings to complete the course of treatment, your patient must still meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Evidence of your patient’s eligibility, for all treatment phases, must be documented in their medical record.

Information for pharmacists

All prescriptions written prior to 1 November 2023 remain valid. You may continue to dispense these as normal.

There are new PBS item codes for the Authority Required (Streamlined) listings to complete a course of treatment.

Information for parents and caregivers

Your child’s current prescription for etanercept remains valid. In future, if your child needs another prescription, you won’t have to wait to receive the new prescription once the doctor has established PBS eligibility. If you have any concerns, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.