Request an authority using Online PBS Authorities in HPOS

Request a new authority using the online Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities system on Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

As an approved prescriber, you no longer need to call us to request PBS authority approval for:

  • most PBS items (except for some complex written Authority Required items)
  • increased quantities or repeats for those items
  • three month supply of most opioids.

You can request PBS authority approvals online through either:

  • PBS Authorities on Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)
  • upgraded clinical and prescribing software, when available.

You or your delegate can upload authority requests for PBS written Authority Required items using Form Upload in HPOS. You can use this function through HPOS Messages. Form Upload lets you securely send messages with forms and supporting documents directly to us. This function confirms forms have been received and there are no postal delays.

Learn more about Form Upload in HPOS.

There are no changes to existing phone and written arrangements for Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) approvals through the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Approval Centre (VAPAC).

Step 1: log on to HPOS and access PBS Authorities

To access HPOS you need a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account. PRODA is an online identity verification and authentication system that lets you securely access government online services. If you don’t have one, you can register for a PRODA account.

Learn more about HPOS.

After logging into PRODA, select Go to service on the HPOS tile.

Select My programs in HPOS for a list of programs you can access.

Select PBS Authorities to access the Online PBS Authorities system.

The location of the PBS Authorities tile may change and depends on how many programs you can access.

Step 2: select Request Authority

Select Request Authority to request a new authority for your patient.

Step 3: enter the patient’s Medicare number

Enter your patient’s 11 digit Medicare number (including the patient’s individual reference number), without any spaces or slashes. Then select Search.

The search results display the selected Medicare Number as well as the patient’s:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • Medicare number and expiry.

Make sure you select the correct patient. Then select Next.

Step 4: enter the Authority Prescription Number

Enter the Authority Prescription Number as shown on the PBS authority prescription. Then select Next.

Step 5: select the PBS item being prescribed

To search for the item being prescribed enter the brand or medicine name as a Keyword or enter the PBS Item Code. Then select Search.

Tip: type the first few letters to find the item you’re prescribing. For example ‘dexam’ will return ‘dexamfetamine’ and ‘dexamethasone’. To sort the results, you can click on the column headings in the Search Results.

Use the Drug Form & Strength field to refine the search results based on the description in the Drug Form and Strength column. For example ‘tab 500’ in this field returns only the 500mg tablet form of dexamethasone.

Select the tick box next to the item to be prescribed.

After you’ve selected the item, the Prescribed Quantity and Prescribed Repeats will default to the PBS listed quantity and repeats for the item. You can change the Prescribed Quantity and Prescribed Repeats for the prescription based on your patient needs.

The Daily Dose must also be entered.

Note: daily dose is needed to calculate the number of days within a treatment cycle. Enter a number from 0.01 to 999.99, for example enter '4' for four tablets per day.

If the dose is or includes partial dose, up to two decimal places can be entered. For example enter ‘1.5’ to show a daily dose of 1.5 tablets, or ‘1.75’ to show a daily dose of 1.75ml.

Enter the following if a daily dose can’t be measured:

  • X for items that aren’t measured by dosage, such as creams and ointments, or for items used less frequently, such as patches used weekly
  • D for directions given to the patient but not entered into the application.

After you enter the Daily Dose, select Next.

When searching for a paediatric Growth Hormone item, use the ‘Drug Form & Strength’ filter to refine the search results.

You should use the ‘Dose and cartridge quantity calculator’ on the Department of Health and Aged Care website before you complete the Prescribed Quantity, Prescribed Repeats and Weekly dose with the unit.

Accepted units for weekly dose include:

  • mg/m²/week
  • mg/kg/week.

After you enter the prescription details select Next.

Step 6: select the PBS restriction

To determine the eligibility criteria for the PBS authority application select the relevant Restriction Code tick box.

To see restriction details in full, such as notes, cautions and warnings, select the Display Restriction Detail link.

Note: If the word ‘Streamlined’ appears in the Selected PBS Item section of the screen, you do not have to proceed with the online authority application. If you’re prescribing within the PBS listed quantity and repeats for a streamlined authority item, write the Streamlined Authority Code on the PBS prescription. You can then Exit the authority application.

If prescribing a streamlined item above the PBS listed quantity and repeats, or prescribing a Restricted Benefit or Authority Required item, to continue with the authority request select the relevant Restriction Code tick box and then Next.

The Restriction Text, Notes and Cautions pop-up provides more information about the PBS Restriction in accordance with the PBS listing.

If you agree that the authority application meets the restriction information, select Next, or select Close to return to the Restriction Selection screen.

Step 7: answer questions about the PBS restriction

For an authority application you may need to answer more questions about the PBS restriction. Answers may need to be in text, a number, a date or selected from a drop down menu, as shown on screen.

Note: for paediatric Growth Hormone authorities go to step 8.

Select Next after you answer all questions.

Step 8: answer eligibility questions for paediatric Growth Hormone

After you select the restriction and Next at Step 6, you’ll see the confirmation of the Condition and Treatment combination you’re prescribing.

Select your patient’s Biological Sex, so the system can make the correct assessment.

Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for each set of eligibility questions. Your responses determine the next set of questions.

Select Next Questions to move through the Eligibility Questions.

Questions are single questions, or a set of ‘and’ or ‘or’ questions.

  • and’ questions need a response to each question.
  • or’ questions only need 1 question answered, including selecting ‘no’ to one of the questions if the patient doesn’t meet any of the options.

After you complete all eligibility questions, enter your patient’s data into the fields.

Select Next when all data is entered.

Step 9: submit your application

The Authority Prescription screen shows information about the patient and the item being prescribed.

You can add comments to the application in the Authority Comments text box.

Confirm all information displayed is correct. You can select Edit to change your application.

When you’re ready to submit the application, tick the Declaration Statement tick box and select Submit.

Step 10: application assessment result

The authority assessment result will show in real-time.

Results for a PBS authority application can include:

  • approved
  • rejected
  • authority not required
  • approved with changes
  • previously rejected/now approved.

If the application is approved, write the PBS Authority Approval Number and PBS Item Code on the prescription.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities homepage, or select Record New Authority to start the next request for an Authority application.

If the application is rejected, the displayed Reason Codes will indicate why.

Find out more about PBS reason codes for Online PBS Authorities.

Further information

Time out screen

If your HPOS session times out, select the PBS Authorities link. You’ll need to re-enter your PRODA username and password and may need to enter your authentication code into the system. After logging in again, select the PBS Authorities tile to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

Invalid Authority Prescription Number

If the number isn’t valid you’ll need to select Amend Number to re-enter the Authority Prescription Number. If you select Continue without changing the invalid Authority Prescription Number, your PBS authority application will be rejected at the Application Assessment Result screen.

Tip: alphabetical characters are invalid values for an Authority Prescription Number. If you’ve entered the Authority Prescription Number with alphabetical characters, you’ll see the error message 154: Invalid value/s in the following fields: Authority Prescription Number.

Hospital Provider Number

The hospital provider number field is only mandatory for Highly Specialised Drug public or private hospital items. If you need to fill in a Hospital Provider Number do so on the Item Search screen, after entering the Dose, Prescribed Quantity and Prescribed Repeats.

Overriding an assessment result

You can resubmit a rejected application for any of these reasons (all reasons below may not apply for all medicines):

  • lost
  • stolen
  • destroyed
  • inaccessible
  • change in dose
  • Section 49 (previously regulation 24)
  • special Drugs
  • ineffective
  • contra-indicating
  • adverse reaction
  • break in therapy
  • change in strength.

Select from the Reason Code Override drop down and select Resubmit.

Note: if the date of prescribing is different to the previous application, the Resubmit Authority pop up gives the warning - The date of prescribing will be updated to today’s date. Do you wish to continue? Select Yes, to confirm the original date of prescribing will be overwritten to today’s date. Update the PBS prescription with today’s date.

If approved, the assessment result will be Previously rejected/now approved. Write the PBS Authority approval number and PBS item code on the prescription.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

Search for existing PBS authorities

Read more about Search for an existing authority using Online PBS Authorities in HPOS to change an existing application.

Page last updated: 7 July 2022