Page last updated: 10 July 2020

Drug utilisation sub-committee (DUSC)

February 2020



DUSC requested to review the use of testosterone two years after a change to the restriction wording allowing general paediatricians to prescribe testosterone for androgen deficiency with established pituitary or testicular disorders. This change was recommended by the PBAC after a stakeholder request in response to the DUSC report in September 2016. DUSC considered it now timely to review the use of testosterone in relation to the previous report and also to assess the impact of restriction changes that have occurred since April 2015.

Date of listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

There are a variety of listings and forms of testosterone on the PBS. The first was listed prior to 1966.

Data Source / methodology

Data were extracted from the Department of Human Services (DHS) prescription database from the earliest available data and continuing to September 2019.

Key Findings

  • In 2018:
    • 33,615 patients were supplied testosterone; of whom 4,276 received their first testosterone supply in that year.
    • 156,259 subsidised testosterone prescriptions were supplied.
    • expenditure for testosterone supplied through the PBS was $13,079,019.
  • The number of initiating patients stabilised at around 5,000 per year from 2016 onwards, after the restriction change for the androgen deficiency listing in April 2015.
  • The restriction changes that have occurred since August 2015 have not affected the overall trend in testosterone use.
  • Females accounted for more first initiations of testosterone in 2018 than males in the 15-19, 20-24 and 25-29 year age groups.

Full Report