Get Started

The Department of Health is modernising the consumption and data distribution model for the monthly PBS Schedule data. In the future, PBS Schedule data will be distributed in a relational format that is more readily consumable and predictable. The Department will cease to provide ALL existing forms of data currently distributed to vendors at an agreed point in time.

More information is available in the presentation slides from the Modernising data access Webinar .

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Getting Started

Using the REST API will be fundamentally different from the way many developers currently access the PBS data. Where large, static files are distributed  each month then processed down to a subset. 

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, the REST API concept is closer to  the centralised database architecture over standard web infrastructure. Queries, in the form of URLs are submitted to the service and the result is returned as XML or sometimes, JSON.

For testing and familiarisation, URLs can be submitted via a normal web browser with the result returned to the browser as an XML page. For production systems, developers can use any language that processes URLs, or utilities like CURL .

See  API Services * for a list of URLs and supported parameters.

As an alternative to local processing, organisations can use the API service to integrate the PBS data directly into their website. This architecture ensures that information is always in sync with the official PBS website but without any of the monthly update processing.

See the Medicine Name Finder  from NPS.org.au  for an example of this model.

* Note: the '0.1' in the URLs is the API version and it should be explicitly processed. In addition to 0.1, 0.2 of the API will be available in the coming months. While both versions of the APIs will be supported for the foreseeable future, URLs must be properly qualified.

The API home – api.pbs.gov.au 

API Playgroundapi.pbs.gov.au/howto.htm 

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