- Hundreds of medications are now available for a 60-day supply
- Extended dispensing rules targets medicines for stable chronic health conditions and will include 320 medicines on the PBS
- Availability will be staged with 100 medicines listed in September 2023, followed by a second round of approximately 100 medicines in March 2024, and third round scheduled for September 2024
The Australian Government has announced a new dispensing policy for more than 320 PBS medicines which will allow the purchase of two months’ worth of medicine for the price of a single prescription. The move has been met with approval from health representatives, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
The decision targets medicines for stable ongoing health conditions and brings Australia in line with New Zealand, the UK, Canada and France where patients have greater access to regular medications.
First recommended in 2018 by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Council (PBAC), the initiative doubles the number of certain medications that can be dispensed from the standard 28- or 30-day limits.
This will mean patients can also reduce routine doctor visits, as well as the cost and number of pharmacy visits. The move also benefits people who live in rural and regional areas, who often travel to pick up scripts and collect medication lessening the risk of running out of monthly medication. The RACGP have stated the reforms will ease the cost of living pressures for Australians and also lower the administration for prescriptions.
This latest initiative is another positive for people with chronic conditions alongside the January 2023 reduction of the PBS co-payment for non-concession holders from $42.50 to $30.
People with disability, people with chronic health conditions and other Australians can check to see if their medications are included by clicking here to for a full list at the PBS website.