Description

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) helps cover the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines, making them more affordable.

Services provided

  • Timely, reliable and affordable access to necessary medicines.
  • Subsidised costs of medicine for most medical conditions. 

Eligibility

The PBS is available to all Australian citizens with a Medicare card. The PBS is also offered at a reduced price for these card holders: Pensioner Concession Card; Commonwealth Seniors Health Card; Health Care Card; Department of Veterans' Affairs White, Gold, or Orange Card.

Under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) scheme, the PBS is also available to people from: United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Malta, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Slovenia.

You can prove your eligibility for the PBS by showing your passport when filling a prescription at the chemist, or by applying for a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement Card by contacting the Commonwealth Government Department of Human Services.

How to access

To receive the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) rebate you must show your Medicare card every time you fill a prescription at the chemist.

You can claim the PBS on Medicare if you have an official Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme receipt from the chemist. 

Call 1800 888 333

The National Relay Service (NRS) is available to help callers with a hearing or speech impairment. For:

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is available (24 hours, 7 days) for callers who speak other languages. Call 131 450.

Costs

The cost of prescription medication covered by the PBS varies for Medicare and concession card holders and is adjusted annually on 1 January.

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) provides access to PBS and other agreed medications to veterans and eligible dependants at a concessional rate. Contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to learn more. Call 1800 552 580.

Once families or individuals meet a certain cost threshold during a calendar year (the Safety Net Threshold) they will receive medication at no charge for the rest of the calendar year. See the current Safety Net Thresholds for families, individuals and concession card holders on the PBS website.