Clarifying a prescriber's intention

You can annotate a prescription to clarify a prescriber's intention. Only the prescriber can make major changes to the prescription

You can call the prescriber to clarify their intentions when:

  • something isn't clear on a PBS prescription
  • asking for a new prescription will delay the customer's treatment.

You can make notes on the prescription to record the prescriber's intentions.

To clarify a prescription, you must:

  • call and speak to the prescriber
  • clearly annotate and endorse the prescription with the date you contacted the prescriber, the prescriber's advice and your name and signature
  • keep a record of your discussion with the prescriber in your customer's dispensing history.

Major changes to a prescription

Only the prescriber can make major changes to the prescription. The patient will need to ask the prescriber for either:

  • a new prescription
  • additional details written on the current prescription signed by the prescriber.

You can then supply the item to the client and make a PBS claim.

Changing an authority prescription

To change an authority prescription, you must contact the prescriber and they must annotate the prescription and initial the annotations. The prescriber must also contact the PBS authority line or go online to update the PBS authority approval record.

If the prescriber doesn’t contact the PBS authority line, we’ll reject the claim.

Read more about PBS authorities.

Unaccepted changes

You mustn’t claim:

  • a completely different item to what you have supplied
  • an additional item - for example, a prescription for atenolol changed to atenolol and fluoxetine.

The following changes are also unacceptable:

  • altering prescriptions for Schedule 8 - Controlled Drugs items
  • increasing the quantity or repeats
  • changing the date of prescribing
  • using a different patient
  • altering prescriber details
  • changing repeat forms.

You can only change the repeat form to correct a previous pharmacist's dispensing error. You can only do this to make it consistent with the prescriber's original prescription.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022.
QC 47221