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Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription—PBS item prescribed, code NN[NNN]A

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termPBS item prescribed
Synonymous names:Help on this termPBS item code; PBS item number; Supplied item number; Item code
METeOR identifier:Help on this term600778
Registration status:Help on this termCommonwealth Department of Health, Standard 17/12/2015
Definition:Help on this term

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) item prescribed in a claim for a benefit under the PBS, as represented by a PBS item code.

This includes under co-payment claims where no benefit is paid, i.e. instances where the dispensed price of the prescribed medicinal or therapeutic product is less than the amount of the applicable co-payment.

Data Element Concept:Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription—PBS item prescribed

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Classification scheme:Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits
Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termString
Format:Help on this termNN[NNN]A
Maximum character length:Help on this term6

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

A fifth numeric character was added to the PBS item code in 2013. The allocation of item codes with the additional digit commenced with the PBS schedule applicable from 1 December 2013, with older codes remaining valid where appropriate.

The final alphabetic character is a check digit.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termDepartment of Health
Reference documents:Help on this term

Department of Health 2015. Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits. Department of Health, Canberra. Viewed 18 September 2015, http://www.pbs.gov.au/browse/publications

Department of Health 2015. Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits. Department of Health, Canberra. Viewed 22 October 2015, http://www.pbs.gov.au/browse/rpbs

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

PBS items are differentiated via a number of characteristics, including:

  • the active ingredient of the medicinal or therapeutic product,
  • the strength of the medicinal or therapeutic product, often expressed in terms of the weight or liquid concentration of the active ingredient,
  • the form of the medicinal or therapeutic product and its manner of administration, e.g. a tablet, a capsule, an oral liquid, an injection etc.,
  • the maximum quantity of the medicinal or therapeutic product to be supplied at any one time, 
  • the number of repeats, i.e. either a 'single supply' prescription that allows no repeats, or a prescription that allows the supply of a number of repeats up to a specific maximum number,
  • any other restrictions associated with the use of the medicinal or therapeutic product, e.g. specific clinical criteria that must be met in order for the product to be administered,
  • the specific scheme under which the medicinal or therapeutic product is prescribed and/or any associated benefit is administered.

Example (based on information current as at October 2015)

The drug hyoscine butylbromide, used to treat pain and discomfort caused by abdominal cramps, menstrual cramps or other spasmodic activity in the digestive system, is supplied in a pack of 5 x 1 mL ampoules, at a strength of 20 mg/mL, in injectable form.

Under the provisions of the general PBS, the applicable item code is either '5317W' (up to 3 repeats allowed) or '5318X' (no repeats allowed), depending on the clinical need of the patient as determined by the prescriber. Under these item codes, a maximum of 6 packs can be supplied at any one time.

The same item, supplied under the Prescriber Bag provisions of the PBS, is item code '3473T'. A maximum of 1 pack can be supplied at any one time.

If supplied under the provisions of the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), the same item is item code '4279F', with no repeats allowed. A maximum of 1 pack can be supplied at any one time.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termDepartment of Health

Relational attributes

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) state/territory data extract 2013-14 Commonwealth Department of Health, Standard 17/12/2015

DSS specific attributes +
Implementation in Indicators:Help on this termUsed as numerator
1.1 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for antimicrobials per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
1.2 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for quinolones per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
1.3a Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for amoxycillin per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
1.3b Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for amoxycillin-clavulanate per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
4.10 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for ADHD medicines per 100,000 people aged 17 years and under, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
4.2, 4.3, 4.4 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for antidepressant medicines per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
4.5, 4.6 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for anxiolytic medicines per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
4.7, 4.8, 4.9 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for antipsychotic medicines per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
5.1 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for opioid medicines per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for asthma medicines per 100,000 people, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
6.10 Number of PBS prescriptions dispensed for anticholinesterase medicines per 100,000 people aged 65 years and over, 2013–14 National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 23/11/2016
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for ADHD medicines per 100,000 population, aged 17 years and under, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for amoxicillin per 100,000 population, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for amoxicillin-clavulanate per 100,000 population, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for antibiotic medicines per 100,000 children aged 9 years and under, 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for antimicrobials per 100,000 population, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for antipsychotic medicines per 100,000 population, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 (i) Age 17 years & under, (ii) Age 18 - 64 years, (iii) Age 65 years & over Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for opioid medicines per 100,000 population, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for proton pump inhibitor medicines per 100,000 population aged (i) 18 years and over, (ii) 1 year and under, 2016-17 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Standard 13/12/2018
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