Readers are invited to write in with their questions about decisions of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Australian Prescriber publishes selected questions from readers, together with answers from the PBAC. Questions may address issues such as regulatory decisions, pharmaceutical benefits listings and withdrawals.

This exclusive arrangement helps Australian Prescriber readers understand how the contents of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS, see are determined.

Letters and responses are reviewed by the Editorial Executive Committee and may be edited before publication. It may not be possible to reply to all individual questions.

Answer to question to the PBAC

In the December issue of Australian Prescriber (Aust Prescr 2004;27:155) readers asked the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) about the restriction on prescribing narcotic analgesics for chronic pain. The PBAC has now relaxed the requirements for authority prescriptions for increased maximum quantities and repeats of some narcotic analgesics.