An authority prescription is required for some PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) medicines or for a therapeutic group premium (TPX) or special patient contribution (SPX) exemption (based on clinical grounds). An authority prescription is also required when a prescriber determines that, based on the dosage and treatment period, the patient requires an increased number of repeats or a quantity greater than the maximum listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits .
To qualify for an authority prescription your doctor will determine if you meet the criteria set out in the PBS Schedule.
A PBS authority prescription will look like:
1. A blue and white pre-printed form where your doctor will hand write the prescription. The Authority numbers will be printed in the top right and a written number will be in the phone approval box near the bottom right.
2. A computer software generated prescription that is printed on special Prescription Paper. The Authority numbers will be
printed in the top and a phone approval number will be near the bottom.
| Hand Written Authority Prescription|
|Authority Prescription Printed by the Doctors Computer System|
Example 1: Special Medications
An example of an authority prescription medicine is SUMATRIPTAN SUCCINATE Tablet 50 mg,which is commonly known as Imigran .Imigran tablets are used to relieve a migraine attack. To be eligible for an authority prescription for Imigran, you must meet the following special criteria.
"Migraine attacks in patients receiving, or who have failed a reasonable trial of, prophylactic medication and where attacks in the past have usually failed to respond to oral therapy with ergotamine and other appropriate agents, or in whom these agents are contraindicated."
This in non medical terms says "You have tried all other treatments for your migraine and they have not been effective or you cannot take other types of medication for your migraines as it may interact with medications you are currently taking".
It must however be noted that only your doctor can determine if an Authority medication is appropriate for you.
Example 2: More Repeats or Larger Dosages
Another instance where an Authority prescription may be used is if you need more repeats or a higher dosage of medication than what is normally prescribed by the PBS. A common example would be if you need to take double the normal amount prescribed under the PBS, the doctor may (under certain circumstances) obtain an authority for this dosage. If the authority is granted then you will be able to get the double dosage for the same price as normal single dose.
If you do not meet the criteria for approval then your doctor may (not always) still be able to prescribe you the medication as a private prescription. In this case you will not receive the cost benefits and will have to pay the unsubsidised private price.
If you have any further questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact your doctor our Pharmacists or seek further information from Medicare Australia.