The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule) lists all items subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and provides details of how to prescribe them.

Read more about the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits at the PBS website.

PBS benefits fall into 3 broad categories.

  1. Unrestricted benefits are items that are not limited by therapeutic use.
  2. Restricted benefits are items that are PBS-subsidised only for specific therapeutic use.
  3. Authority benefits, which are either:
    • authority required benefits - restricted items that require prior approval from us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)
    • authority required (STREAMLINED) - restricted items that do not require prior approval from us or DVA, but require the recording of a streamlined authority code.

Items listed on the PBS

More information on how items are listed on the PBS can be found on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Finding the PBS approved indications for restricted benefits

The PBS approved indications for restricted benefits are displayed when the red Restricted Benefit icon - also authority required or authority required (STREAMLINED) is selected. This is underneath the item in the Schedule and is clearly visible if you are selecting the item through your prescribing software.

Prescribing a PBS restricted item for a use not listed in the PBS

When prescribing a restricted benefit for a use not listed on the PBS, you must write a non-PBS prescription. The cost to the patient for a non-PBS prescription might differ between pharmacies.

For more information on PBS-subsidised uses, refer to the PBS website.

Writing a non-PBS prescription

PBS stationery may be used to write non-PBS prescriptions, provided you cross out the PBS and RPBS boxes on the prescription. Endorsing the prescription as ‘non-PBS’ ensures your intentions are clear. Non-PBS and PBS items should not be prescribed on the same prescription form.

Read more about PBS and RPBS prescription forms.

Page last updated: 7 July 2022.
QC 48756