At Pharmacy Junction, we strive to provide complete professional care .By providing us with medical details listed in our registration form, it will ensure that we are able to identify any potential drug, health or allergic interactions. This is compulsory for prescription and over the counter medicine orders.
Due to Australia’s present Health Scheme, different individuals may have different entitlements to what they pay for PBS prescriptions. Each prescription item at Pharmacy Junction will show with up to four different prices depending on the individual’s entitlements. Below is a description of the different prices.
Discounted PBS Price
- If you have a Medicare Card you are entitled to receive medication at this price.
- If you pay this price Pharmacy Junction’s pharmacy software will record the eligible patient contribution toward your PBS safety net for the PBS prescriptions supplied.
- Some medicines may have the word AUTHORITY REQUIRED next to the Discounted PBS Price, if this is the case you are only entitled to this price if you have an Authority Prescription.
Concession PBS Price
- If you hold a Medicare card and a valid concessional benefits card (click here to see list of cards) you are entitled to this price.
- If you pay this price Pharmacy Junction’s pharmacy software will record the eligible patient contribution towards your PBS safety net for the PBS prescriptions supplied.
Private Prescription Price
- This price is available to anyone with a valid Australian prescription
- When a prescription is dispensed as a private prescription you do not receive any safety net contribution toward your PBS safety net.
Safety net Price
- If you hold a Medicare card and a valid safety net Entitlement Card you are entitled to this price.
Under the PBS, the maximum cost for a pharmaceutical benefit item at a pharmacy is $40.30 for general patients and $6.50 for concessional patients, plus any applicable special patient contribution, brand premium or therapeutic group premium. From 1 January 2016, pharmacists have the option to discount the PBS patient co-payment by up to $1.00 (unless the prescription is an early supply of a specified medicine, in which case, the full co-payment applies).
Free Freight for Subsidized PBS Medicines
Free freight is available for orders with at least one PBS subsidized prescription. Our system will automatically adjust the freight if you are eligible. A PBS subsidized medicine is defined as a prescription medicine that is currently listed on the PBS and the government pays part of the cost of the medication. These are products with a price of $39.30 or more in the Discounted PBS Price field for patients without a Concession/Pension card or products with a price in the Concession PBS Price or Safety Net price for patients with a valid Concession/Pension/Safety Net Concession card or Safety Net Entitlement card respectively.
A PBS listed medicine that is ordered as Private or is less than $39.30 for a non Concession/Pension card holder is not considered to be subsidized and is not eligible for free freight.
Dispensing multiple packs or multiple repeats of prescription medication
As pharmacists we must always comply explicitly with your doctors prescribed directions this includes the quantity of the prescription goods to be supplied. Therefore the only time we can supply an increased quantity of a prescribed medicine is if the doctor prescribes that quantity for you.
What type of patient am I and what price will I pay?
There are two types of PBS beneficiaries, general patients, who hold a Medicare card, and concessional patients, who hold a Medicare card and one of the following concessional benefits cards:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Health Care Card
- Repatriation Health Card for All Conditions (gold) — concessional patients under RPBS
- Repatriation Health Card for Specific Conditions (white) — only regarded as concessional patients for RPBS prescriptions unless they hold a separate entitlement from Centrelink, otherwise they are general patients
- Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Card (orange) — concessional patients under RPBS
- Safety net Concession Card— issued by the Department of Human Services.
Concession patients, upon presentation of a valid concessional benefits card will be charged the Concession PBS Price
Patients without a concessional benefits card, but who hold a Medicare card, can choose either to pay the Discounted PBS Price and have their eligible patient contributions recorded toward their PBS safety net, or should the Private Prescription Price be cheaper, you can elect to receive the Private Price bearing in mind that no safety net patient contribution will be recorded for this dispensing.
The Private Prescription Price is available to anyone with a valid Australian prescription. When a prescription is dispensed as a private prescription you do not receive any safety net contribution.
The safety net Price is available to you if you hold a Medicare card and a valid Safety net Entitlement.
PBS Safety Net explained.
The PBS safety net protects patients and their families requiring a large number of PBS or RPBS items. For the purposes of the scheme, the family includes the person:
- the partner or de facto partner;
- children under the age of 16 who are in the care and control of the person; or
- dependent full-time students under the age of 25.
The scheme requires pharmacists, on request by patients, to record the supply of PBS and RPBS items on prescription record forms. When a patient reaches the safety net threshold within a calendar year, they qualify to receive PBS or RPBS items at a cheaper price or free of charge for the rest of that year. Any applicable special patient contributions, brand premiums or therapeutic group premiums must still be met by the patient.
The safety net threshold is reached by accumulating eligible patient contributions for PBS prescriptions supplied through community pharmacies and private hospitals and for out-patient medication supplied by public hospitals. Pharmaceutical benefits (including authority items) can only be counted towards the safety net threshold when prescribed and supplied according to PBS conditions.
Prescriptions for some pharmaceutical items are not eligible for safety net benefits if re-supplied as an ‘early supply’ (i.e. within a specified period after a previous supply of the same or an equivalent item for the same person). The patient contribution for an early supply does not count towards the safety net threshold
There are two safety net thresholds. The general patient safety net threshold is currently $1,555.70. When a person and/or their family’s total applicable co-payments reach this amount, they may apply for a safety net concession card and pay the concessional co-payment amount of $6.50 plus any applicable premium for pharmaceutical benefits for the rest of that calendar year.
The concessional safety net threshold is $390.00 (this also applies to gold, white or orange card holders under the RPBS). When a patient and/or their family’s total applicable co-payments reach this amount, they may apply for a safety net entitlement card and may receive pharmaceutical benefits free of charge (except for any applicable premium) for the rest of that calendar year. Brand premiums, therapeutic group premiums and special patient contributions do not count towards the safety net thresholds.
Some PBS medications are restricted and require prior approval from Medicare before a doctor is able to prescribe them on the PBS. This prior approval to prescribe grants the doctor the Authority to prescribe the desired medicine and have it funded under the PBS. Authority to prescribe an Authority medicine is granted for specific indications and/or for certain patient circumstances. Authority may be obtained by telephone to Medicare Australia (known as “phone approval”) or in writing from an authorised delegate of the Minister for Health. Prescriptions must be written on an Authority Prescription Form, and the approval number must be noted on the prescription. Pharmacists cannot dispense the item as a pharmaceutical benefit unless it has been approved by Medicare Australia (indicated by the presence of the approval number). Some drugs may have Authority Required (Streamlined) status which does not require an explicit approval from Medicare, instead the doctor can use the Authority code found in the published Schedule for a given drug/indication. But still pharmacists cannot dispense the item as a pharmaceutical benefit unless it has the necessary Authority code.