The period for which a PBS prescription (with repeats) can be written has increased from 6 to 12 months — for somemedicines prescribed for some people with chronic conditions.

People with a stable chronic condition whose care is being managed by a general practitioner management plan or team care arrangement are eligible to receive up to 12 months’ supply of some medicines in accordance with their GP’s clinical judgement. The prescribing GP must be satisfied that there will be adequate follow-up.

No increased maximum quantities and/or repeats are allowed with these new PBS listings.

The first medicines were listed under the new arrangement on 1 November 2008, followed by a second group of medicines on 1 December 2008. Some diagnostic agents will be added on 1 January 2009 (see Box 1).

Box 1 Medicines that may be prescribed for up to 12 months under the new arrangement*
From 1 November 2008
Some eye preparations (e.g. for dry eye)
From 1 December 2008
Some digestive enzyme capsules (e.g. for cystic fibrosis)
Statins (excluding rosuvastatin)
Bile-acid sequestrants
From 1 January 2009
Some diagnostic agents (e.g. glucose test strips)

* Refer to the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits