Better Health Channel


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

Services provided

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


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)External Link rebate you must show your Medicare card every time you fill aprescription at the chemist.

You can claim the PBSExternal Link on Medicare if you have an official Pharmaceutical BenefitsScheme receipt from the chemist. Call 1800 888 333

The National Relay Service (NRS)External Link is available to help callers who are d/Deaf, or find it hard to hear or speak to hearing people on the phone.

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


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

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) provides access toPBS and other agreed medications to veterans and eligible dependants at aconcessional rateExternal Link . Contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to learn more. Call1800 552 580.

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



Conventional healthcare.


You can discuss cheaper, generic brands of prescribed medication with yourpharmacist. These are still safe and meet quality standards but are more affordable.