Ankylosing spondylitis

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises biological medicines for patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Patient eligibility

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises treatment with biological medicines under the National Health Act 1953, section 85 and section 100 for adult patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Where the term ‘biological medicine’ appears, it refers to:

  • adalimumab
  • certolizumab pegol
  • etanercept
  • golimumab
  • infliximab
  • ixekizumab
  • secukinumab
  • tofacitinib
  • upadacitinib.

Patients must be eligible for the PBS and meet the relevant restriction criteria.

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits on the PBS website outlines the restrictions for prescribing biological medicines.

Section 100 arrangements

Infliximab i.v.

This item is only PBS-subsidised for non-admitted patients, day-admitted patients or patients on discharge who are attending:

  • an approved private hospital
  • a public hospital.

This item isn’t PBS-subsidised for public hospital in-patients. You must include the hospital name and provider number on the authority application form.

Toxicity and severity descriptors

When demonstrating a patient’s intolerance to prior treatment, use the ankylosing spondylitis toxicity and severity descriptors with the authority application.

Treatment specifics

To be eligible for PBS-subsidised treatment with biological medicines, patients must be treated by either a:

  • rheumatologist
  • clinical immunologist with expertise in managing ankylosing spondylitis.

Authority applications

Biosimilars

Applying for initial treatment

Applications for initial authority approval to prescribe PBS-subsidised biosimilar brands of biological medicines to treat ankylosing spondylitis can be made either:

Applying for change or recommencement of treatment

Applications to change or recommence authority approval to prescribe PBS-subsidised biosimilar brands of biological medicines to treat ankylosing spondylitis can be made either:

Applying for continuing treatment

Application for continuing PBS-subsidised treatment with biosimilar brands of biological medicines is Authority required (STREAMLINED). You don’t need authority approval from us for the listed quantities and repeats.

Originators

Applying for initial treatment

Apply for initial authority approval to prescribe PBS-subsidised originator brands of biological medicines to treat ankylosing spondylitis in writing and either:

All written applications must include the completed:

Applying for initial grandfather treatment

For patients who received non-PBS-subsidised tofacitinib treatment before 1 August 2023 for ankylosing spondylitis, apply for initial grandfather authority approval in writing and either:

All written applications must include the completed:

Applying for change or recommencement of treatment

Apply to change or recommence authority approval to prescribe PBS-subsidised originator brands of biological medicines to treat ankylosing spondylitis in writing and either:

All written applications must include the completed:

You can also use this authority application form to submit a demonstration of response to the current PBS-subsidised treatment.

Applying for continuing treatment

Apply for continuing authority approval to prescribe PBS-subsidised originator brands of biological medicines to treat ankylosing spondylitis in writing and either:

All written applications must include the completed:

More information

Call the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line for more information.

Page last updated: 11 July 2024.
QC 31841