Active Ingredient Prescribing

The Australian Government mandated that prescribers must include the active ingredient names when preparing prescriptions for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation PBS (RPBS) medicines.

This means that patients will be provided with prescriptions based on the active ingredient, rather than the brand name of the medication.

Exceptions to this arrangement include:

  • Hand-written prescriptions
  • Paper-based residential medication charts
  • Computer generated ‘free-text’ prescriptions e.g. for extemporaneous items
  • Prescriptions for medicines with four or more active ingredients
  • Prescriptions for medicines on the Excluded List prepared by the Australian Commission for Quality and safety in Healthcare
  • Non-PBS/RPBS prescriptions – while not regulated by the Commonwealth, the same principles are expected to apply to non-PBS/RPBS prescriptions being generated by prescriber software
Page last updated on: 23 March 2023