Update on International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names and PBS changes

21 Dec 2017

To align with international practice, 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 of changes is 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 2018. While some of the changes to active ingredient names have already appeared in the PBS Schedule, the bulk of the changes to the Schedule will be incorporated during 2018, commencing 1 January 2018. Changes will subsequently appear in prescribing and pharmacy dispensing software products that use PBS Schedule data.

This advice is an update on a previous announcement from the Department of Health (International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names – PBS changes – 3 May 2017) which stated that implementation of the changes was likely to commence in July 2017.

The Department and professional groups have developed a counselling tool on the ingredient name changes for pharmacists and other health professionals. A copy of 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 2018. 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.