Revised opioids PBS listings from 1 October 2020

Page last updated: 22 September 2020

The Department of Health would like to notify you that from 1 October 2020, there will be significant changes to the PBS listing for opioid medicines.  These changes will include:

  • Restructuring of the restrictions to include treatment phases that reflect the length of time a patient has been treated with both PBS and non-PBS subsided opioids. As of 1 October 2020, each item code will be divided into restrictions for initial treatment where the patient has been treated with opioids for less than 12 months, initial treatment where the patient has been treated with opioids for more than 12 months and continuing treatment.
  • Where restrictions require a secondary annual review, palliative care nurse practitioners will now be able to conduct this review for palliative care patients.
  • The requirement for the secondary annual review will be removed for palliative care patients whose clinical condition is such that a secondary review is not possible.
  • Prescribers will no longer be required to provide the details of the medical practitioner consulted for a secondary annual review or the date of review, at the time of the application to Services Australia for increased quantities or repeats.

For further details please see the attached News Item.

These changes will have a significant effect on prescribers. It is therefore critical that updates to your prescriber software will be available on time.

Thank you for your assistance.