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PBS subsidy arrangements for fluoxetine SSSI

Page last updated: 11 December 2023

The Department of Health and Aged Care has made amendments to the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) (Pharmacist Substitution of Medicines without Prescription during Shortages) Determination 2021. This is following the issuance of the Therapeutic Goods (Serious Scarcity and Substitutable Medicine) (fluoxetine) Instrument 2023 , which will allow pharmacists to supply different form of oral fluoxetine at equivalent dose for the duration of the shortage provided specified conditions are met.

Advice for dispensing under SSSI arrangement:

  • For original/repeat prescriptions for the PBS listed quantity and repeats
    • PBS approved suppliers will be able to substitute between the fluoxetine 20mg formulations and claim PBS benefits without any related warnings/rejections in the PBS Online claiming system.
    • This is only when the SSSI substitution occurs with a prescription written for the PBS listed quantity units and repeats or less.
  • Substitution of 20mg formulations using authority prescriptions (increased listed quantity/repeats) will result in PBS Online warnings being returned to the PBS approved supplier:
    • Reason code 162; Item provided does not match to the authority.
    • Reason code 163; Repeat Item claimed does not match to the authority approval.
  • If the substitutable medicine is an authority approved prescription, the PBS Online warnings (reason code 162 or 163) can be disregarded in this circumstance.

Further information about the substitution is available on the PBS Medicine Shortages page