Optometrist PBS prescribing
Optometrists endorsed to prescribe under state or territory legislation may apply to Medicare for approval as a PBS prescriber—an authorised optometrist.
To apply for approval as a PBS prescriber, optometrists must complete an Application for approval to prescribe medication under the PBS [PDF, 122Kb].
Applicants must provide written confirmation that they are endorsed to prescribe medication. This endorsement must be from the optometrists registration authority in the state or territory in which the applicant intends to prescribe pharmaceutical benefits.
When Medicare receives your application and all of the necessary information, the application will be processed. A PBS prescriber number will be issued if the application is approved.
Optometrists approved as PBS prescribers are authorised to write prescriptions for certain medications under the PBS/RPBS from 1 January 2008.
As an authorised prescriber, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of, and comply with, the rules and regulations which apply to the PBS. Information on prescribing is available at www.pbs.gov.au.
Online PBS education is available on our website at Education for health professionals.
- all Australian residents
- people from Italy, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Norway, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with these countries).
Personalised PBS prescription forms are used to prescribe medicine listed on the PBS. Supplies of personalised optometrist PBS prescription forms may be obtained free of charge by completing an Order for PBS/RPBS optometrist prescription books [PDF, 72Kb] form and returning the order form to:
Prescription Pad Order Clerk
Pharmaceutical Benefits Branch
Department of Human Services
GPO Box 9826
Sydney NSW 2001
Telephone: 02 9895 3295
Note: the PBS stationery supplier changed on 1 September. This may affect the way you order. Find out more on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) page.
- Your PBS prescriber number must be included on a PBS/RPBS prescription.
- Only one item may be prescribed on an optometrist PBS/RPBS prescription.
- The same prescription form is used to prescribe unrestricted, restricted or authority required items.
- Optometrists are responsible for adhering to their state or territory law for every prescription (PBS/RPBS and non-PBS), and to all PBS/RPBS requirements for those prescriptions.
Authority required benefits apply to restricted medicine that requires prior approval from Medicare or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)—identified as authority required.
You can request an approval from Medicare by telephone or mail.
Telephone applications: 1800 888 333
For postal applications, please send the authority prescription to the following address:
REPLY PAID No. 9857
PBS Authority Section
GPO Box 9857
In your capital city
Authority prescriptions must include a Medicare or DVA approval number.
An authority approval number will be issued via telephone or mail by Medicare or the Veterans' Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC).
Authorised optometrists can write PBS/RPBS prescriptions only for the medicine listed in the optometrist section of the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule).
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Last updated: 27 September, 2013