Apply for PBS Authority

There are several ways to apply for a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) authority approval for Authority Required Drugs.

You can get authority approval online, by submitting a form or by calling us.

Read more about the drugs, programs or conditions that need authority approval.

There are also emergency provision arrangements to prescribe an authority required item if our phone lines are down.

When prescribing for a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) patient, you’ll need to seek authority approval from DVA for RPBS prescriptions. Read more about prior approval of prescriptions for RPBS patients on the DVA website.

You can submit a request for many of the Authority Required Drugs using the Online PBS Authorities system.

You’ll need to use your individual Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account to securely access government online services. If you don’t have a PRODA account, register for one. Once registered, you’ll need to link your prescriber number in your PRODA account.

You can then access the Online PBS Authorities system through either:

  • Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)
  • upgraded clinical and prescribing software.

To request an authority using the Online PBS Authorities system you’ll need to:

  • provide information about your patient
  • tell us the medicine you’re prescribing including dose, quantity and repeats
  • answer questions and attach supporting documents such as test results or images where required.

To apply online follow these steps:

Step 1: Log on to HPOS and access PBS authorities from your My programs list.

Step 2: Select Request authority to begin.

Step 3: Search for your patients details by entering their Medicare number, then select Next.

Step 4: Select the PBS item being prescribed, enter prescription details including the dose and dose frequency, then select Next.

Step 5: Select the relevant Restriction code check box, then select Next. For streamlined items, write the Streamlined authority code on the PBS prescription. You can then Exit the authority application.

Step 6: Answer Questions about the PBS restriction, then select Next.

Step 7: If required, Attach supporting documents, select Save to view the documents uploaded, then select Next.

Step 8: Review your application. Update the Authority Prescription Number if required, then tick the Declaration statement check box and select Submit. You’ll receive a real time patient eligibility assessment result of Approved or Rejected. Some online authority requests may need us to review the authority request first. If the online authority request has a status of Awaiting Assessment, you’ll receive the assessment outcome in your HPOS mailbox. Find out more about PBS reason codes for online PBS authorities.

Step 9: If the application is approved, endorse the prescription with the PBS authority approval number and PBS item code.

Log in to PRODA

You can watch videos and read more information about the Online PBS Authorities system on the Health Professionals Education website.

All authority requests that can be made by calling us, can also be made using the Online PBS Authorities system.

The medicines you can request an authority for by calling us can change monthly. The number you call depends on the type of drug you want authority for.

You can call the PBS general enquiries line or the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line to request approval for authority required drugs that are not written authority required.

Once approved, we’ll give you an authority approval number. Record this number and item code on the authority prescription form.

Phone authority approval numbers usually start with M or CARM and are followed by 4 digits and 2 letters. For example, M1234RX.

In the event our phone lines are down

If you call the PBS general enquiries line or the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line and hear the emergency message, you must follow the emergency provision arrangements to prescribe an Authority required item.

For prescriptions written under the emergency provision arrangements you must:

  • not exceed the maximum quantity and repeats listed on the PBS website
  • include the words Emergency authorised by Services Australia
  • note the time and date you called.

For drugs on the Highly Specialised Drugs Program, include the:

  • letters HSD
  • hospital provider number, this is not required for Community Access HSD
  • number of days of treatment.

You can’t prescribe increased quantities and repeats above the PBS Schedule quantity under the emergency provision arrangements. You’ll need to use the Online PBS Authorities System.

If you can’t apply for an Authority online you may need to apply for the Authority using a form. You can send it to us electronically using HPOS form upload or mail the completed form to us.

To apply for a Written Authority Required Drug through HPOS Form Upload, upload the:

  • completed PBS authority application form
  • details of the proposed prescription or prescriptions
  • relevant attachments noted on the form.

Follow these steps to apply by HPOS form upload:

Step 1: Log in to HPOS, then select Secure form upload from the Forms menu.

Step 2: Select the Form category and Form type.

Step 3: Upload the PBS authority application form documents, indicate the correct Attachment type for each file, then select Send.

Step 4: Note the Reference number and await the outcome.

Log in to PRODA

Once approved, we’ll send you the authority approval number through your HPOS mailbox. Record this number and the item code on the authority prescription.

To apply for a Written Authority Required Drug through the mail, you will need to include:

  • a completed PBS authority application form
  • details of the proposed prescription or prescriptions
  • relevant attachments noted on the form.

Mail these documents to the address on the form.

Once approved, we’ll send you the authority approval number by mail. Record this number and the item code on the authority prescription.

Page last updated: 24 June 2024.
QC 71058