Additions to the PBS

Taking regular medicines can be frustrating, especially when they’re expensive. From 1 December 2011, a whole host of new medicines will be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS); is yours one of them?

In February this year the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended that a number of medicines be added to the PBS. Medicines included in the PBS are subsidised by Medicare, so the list is quite important. Instead of adding the new medicines to the scheme, the Federal Government chose to defer the additions.

The Federal Government has now agreed that all medicines suggested by PBAC in February will be listed on the PBS as of 1 December 2011. The Government has also agreed not to defer listing any medicines recommended by PBAC for the next 12 months, as long as the cost to the Government is not greater than $10 million per year.

Is my medicine covered?
To find out if your medicine is being added to the list, or if the cost will change, take a look at this list provided by PBS.

Am I eligible for PBS?
Anyone who holds a current Medicare card is eligible for PBS.

Australia also has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with some countries, and overseas visitors from these countries may be eligible. If this applies to you, then take your passport when lodging a prescription and show it to the pharmacist. For more information visit

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) can be used by veterans who have DVA White, Gold or Orange cards. This gives you access to all medicines on the PBS and some extra medicines covered by the RPBS.

You may also be eligible for further concessions if you hold a Pensioner Concession Card, a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Health Care Card.


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