Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Some prescription medicines can cost a lot of money. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) can lower the cost.

Under the PBS, the Australian Government subsidises the cost of medicine for most medical conditions. This means Australians can use a wide range of medicines without paying full price for them.

To buy PBS medicines from a pharmacist, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. Your pharmacist can tell you if your medicine is cheaper under the PBS.

PBS medicine is available to:

  • all Australians and concession card holders who have a current Medicare card
  • visitors from overseas countries with which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)
  • veterans, war widows and widowers, and dependants who are eligible under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).

More help for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, you may get more help to buy medicine.

Talk to your doctor about the Closing the Gap PBS Co-payment.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022.
QC 22016