Prescription Shopping Program

The Prescription Shopping Program (PSP) helps prescribers make informed decisions for their patient.

It identifies patients who may get more PBS-subsidised medicines than they need.

The PSP has a Prescription Shopping Information Service (PSIS) and a Prescription Shopping Alert Service (PSAS).

PSP criteria

Patients meet the PSP criteria if they received any of the following within a 3 month period:

  • any PBS items prescribed by 6 or more different prescribers
  • a total of 25 or more PBS target items
  • a total of 50 or more target or non-target PBS items.

We use PBS data to know when the patient received PBS medicine from an approved pharmacy. The data can take up to 24 hours to update.

Patients who meet the PSP criteria

If your patient meets the criteria, we’ll give you a summary of the PBS items supplied to them. This information is accurate up to the last 24 hours.

We can also send you a Prescription Shopping Patient Summary Report. The report is a list of PBS medicines supplied to your patient in a 3 month period.

You can use this information to talk to your patient about medication and their prescriptions.

Medical practice staff can’t call the PSIS on your behalf.

Pharmacists, dentists, nurse practitioners and midwives can call the PSIS from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm AEST.

Patients who don’t meet the PSP criteria

If your patient doesn’t met the PSP criteria, we’ll only tell you they don’t meet the criteria. We can’t give any additional information.

If you’re worried about your patient, you can contact the health department in your state or territory. You can ask about statutory reporting requirements or other programs to help you manage your patient.

What we can’t tell you

We run the Prescription Shopping Program based on privacy and legal guidelines. We can’t tell you the PBS medicines supplied to someone who isn’t your patient.

We also can’t tell you the PBS medicines supplied to your patient if:

  • they used medicine over the counter
  • a prescriber gave them samples of medication or any emergency treatment
  • a pharmacist gave them PBS medicine in an emergency
  • medicine was prescribed to them under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS)
  • medicine was supplied to them as a private prescription or as a PBS section 100 item.

Fraudulent activity

If you suspect your patient could be committing fraud, you need to report it. Read more about reporting fraud.

Request PBS claims information

Your patients can:

Page last updated: 26 September 2022.
QC 23026