Do you really need to call the PBS Authority phone line?

8 May 2014

The PBS Authority phone line gets around 440,000 calls a month. Doctors often report long waits for their call to be answered. But sometimes doctors use the phone line when they don't need to.

The Department of Human Services tells us that around 5% of calls to the PBS Authority phone line are for streamlined authority medicines that don't require a phone call. If you see

 marked against a medicine in the PBS, click on it to find the four digit code for the relevant clinical indication and include it on your prescription.


The top ten streamlined authority medicines for which the Department receives unnecessary calls are:

  • smoking cessation related drugs (Nicotine, Nicabate P, Nicot Step 1 and Nicotine Patch);
  • anti-dementia drugs (Galantamine and Donepezil);
  • anti-thrombotic agents (Rivaroxaban and Clopidogrel);
  • Pregabalin; and 
  • Quetiapine.

If your prescribing software is not showing the streamlined authority code alert for some streamlined medicines applying updates in a timely manner should help resolve this issue. If it doesn’t, contact your software vendor and advise the Department on

Image by Rochelle Hartman on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence