What pharmacists need to know

A lower PBS general co-payment from 1 January 2023 will help ease cost-of-living pressures for Australians. Here’s what pharmacists need to know to support their customers.

The maximum cost of a PBS prescription for general patients will reduce from $42.50 to $30.00 from 1 January 2023. This is a 29% reduction.

This is the first time in 75 years the general co-payment under the PBS has fallen. This change will help ease cost-of-living pressures for Australians.

Facts for pharmacists:

Costs and discounts

• The maximum cost of the general co-payment for PBS prescriptions will reduce by $12.50, from $42.50 to $30.00

• Pharmacists will be able to provide an increased discount to general patients on prescriptions with a Commonwealth price between $30.00 and $45.60

Safety Net, Closing the Gap and concessional patients

• When the increased discount is applied, the amount paid by the patient will still count towards their PBS Safety Net. This ensures no-one will be worse off by the changed co-payment

• Pharmacists will not be eligible to claim PBS benefits if the increased discount is applied

• These changes won’t affect the amount concession card holders pay. This includes concession card holders in the in the Closing the Gap PBS co-payment program. However, from 1 January 2023 the concessional co-payment amount will change in line with the CPI

• Concessional patients are already receiving benefits from reductions to the PBS Safety Net. On 1 July 2022 the Safety Net reduced by $81.60 to $244.80

• Patients who are part of the Closing the Gap program won’t be disadvantaged by a reduced co-payment when reaching the general PBS Safety Net threshold. Their scripts priced at or above ($30.00 in 2023, then indexed annually) will continue to count toward the PBS Safety Net at the current amount of $42.50

Software updates

• The Australian Government has worked with software providers to make relevant updates

• Pharmacists won’t have to do anything to implement the changes. Software systems will automatically update

Services Australia

• Services Australia administers the PBS

• This includes processing pharmaceutical benefits and Safety Net claims, authority applications and supply of PBS stationery used by health professionals

• For more information call 132 290 or visit the Services Australia website

For more information and downloadable patient resources, visit the PBS website.

Flag: Information supplied by the Department of Health and Aged Care.  

To learn how the changes will work in Minfos, click here.