Key points

  • Section 100 (Highly Specialised Drugs) private hospital listings amended
    Private hospital listings for highly specialised drugs (HSDs) will become Authority Required (Streamlined) if the drugs are already listed as Authority Required (Streamlined) for use in public hospitals.
  • Listings will be progressively amended from 1 September 2019
    The decision to align private and public hospital streamlined listings was made after sector feedback and PBAC advice.
  • Private hospitals can now use Authority Required (Streamlined) codes
    Community Access arrangements and Authority Required (Written) or Authority Required (Telephone) Highly Specialised Drugs listings will not change.

What's changed?

From 1 September 2019, Section 100 Highly Specialised Drugs (HSD) Program private hospital listings will be progressively amended to Authority Required (Streamlined).

The private hospital items will only change for medicines already listed as Authority Required (Streamlined) items for use in public hospitals.

See the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (Summary of Changes) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) website for monthly PBS Schedule additions, deletions or alterations.


Why were the changes made?

The decision to align HSD Program private and public hospital streamlined listings was made in response to sector feedback and after a recommendation by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

The changes will be implemented using standard PBS listing processes.

See the PBS website for information about listing medicines on the PBS.


Will the changes affect current prescribing?

HSDs can now be prescribed through private hospitals using Authority Required (Streamlined) codes. This will provide consistency for prescribers whether they are working in public or private hospitals.

Prescriber and patient eligibility criteria, as well as current dispensing arrangements, will not change.

There will also be no change to HSD Program Community Access arrangements or subsidy of HSDs where the intended authority level is Authority Required (Written) or Authority Required (Telephone).

See the PBS website for information about items available under Section 100, including private hospital, public hospital or community access arrangements.


What else should health professionals know?

Private and public hospital listings have different item codes and Authority Required (Streamlined) codes for the same medicines.

Check that the correct combination of item and Authority Required (Streamlined) codes are used for each prescription, according to the appropriate type of hospital.

You can browse the PBS Schedule by Streamlined Authority to see which items can be prescribed under streamlined authority arrangements.

The explanatory notes provide guidance on navigating the PBS Schedule, and contain information for prescribers and pharmacists on prescribing and supplying pharmaceutical benefits.

Information on the streamlined authority process is also available on the Department of Human Services website.


What should patients know?

The HSD Program provides access to specialised PBS medicines for the treatment of chronic conditions which, because of their clinical use and other special features, have restrictions on where they can be prescribed and supplied.

This may be because of the cost of medicine storage, the need to control medicine dispensing, the need for medical supervision or administration during treatment, or a patient’s limited access to community pharmacies.

Patients who want to learn more about the PBS can watch a video and read frequently asked questions at About the PBS on the PBS website.


More information

This article has been reviewed by the Highly Specialised Drugs Program of the Australian Government Department of Health.