Streamlining the authority system for medications commonly prescribed in general practice


Date: 20 April 2017

Streamlining of authorisation for high quantities of several topical corticosteroids, as of mid-2016, has been helpful to GPs needing to prescribe repeat prescriptions of these medications. However, there are a number of other drugs often prescribed by GPs in quantities – eg selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and some antihypertensives (eg atenolol) – that are still restricted by the authority prescribing system.

The RACGP would like to see further streamlining of PBS authority medications and procedural reforms that reduce red-tape and the administrative burden on already time poor GPs. This was the purpose of the PBAC Review of Authority Required PBS Listings, but it it is currently unclear when the Review report will be made public or further streamlining will take place.

The RACGP has written to the Chair of PBAC recommending:

  • streamlined authorisation for increasing the quantity of particular medications (after initial authority has been obtained)
  • that PBAC consider allowing GPs to prescribe particular medications without the need for referral to another medical specialist.