Ankylosing spondylitis

The PBS subsidises biological agents for adult patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Patient eligibility

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

Where the term biological agent appears, it refers to:

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

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

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

Section 100 arrangements

Infliximab

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

  • an approved private hospital
  • a public participating hospital
  • a public hospital.

This item isn’t PBS subsidised for 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 agents, patients must be treated by a rheumatologist or a clinical immunologist with expertise in the management of ankylosing spondylitis.

Authority applications

Applying for initial treatment

Apply for initial authority approval to prescribe PBS subsidised biological agents 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 upadacitinib treatment for ankylosing spondylitis before 1 October 2021, 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 for authority approval to change or recommence PBS subsidised biological agents 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 biological agents to treat ankylosing spondylitis in writing and either:

All written applications must include the completed:

After we approve the first application for continuing treatment, subsequent continuing treatment with PBS subsidised biosimilar brands of biological agents are Authority Required (Streamlined). They don’t need authority approval from us for the listed quantity and repeats.

Further information

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

Page last updated: 10 December 2021