International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names – PBS changes

10 May 2017

Some active ingredient names used in Australia differ from those used internationally. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has updated over 200 active ingredient names used in Australia as part of their International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names (IHIN) reform. A full list is now available on the TGA website. Around 90 of these changes affect medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These new names will be incorporated within the PBS during 2017.

While some of the changes to active ingredient names have already appeared in the PBS Schedule, the bulk of the changes to the Schedule are expected to be incorporated from July 2017. Changes will subsequently appear in prescribing and pharmacy dispensing software products that use PBS Schedule data.

Changes to medicine active ingredient names due to the International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names are not intended, of themselves, to trigger PBS pricing changes.

A counselling tool to assist health professionals on the ingredient name changes has been developed by the Department of Health in conjunction with professional groups. A copy the counselling tool (PDF 356KB) - (Word 26KB) is available for download.

The counselling tool provides a handy table of the most common changes that will be seen by consumers and health professionals during 2017. The tool confirms that while some ingredient names are changing, the actual medicine, brand name (in most cases) and the medicine’s effect have not changed.