What are the different types of prescriptions?
There are five ways to obtain medications by prescription in Australia (prescription items are only available to customers within Australia).
- Standard PBS (Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme) Prescriptions. The prices for these medications are determined and may be subsided by the Federal Government.
- Authority (PBS) prescriptions are priced the same as Standard (PBS) but may only be prescribed for specified purposes. Your doctor must obtain permission to issue this type of medication.
- Private Prescriptions are not government subsidised. Prices vary a great deal across pharmacies. Our prices are the cheapest available. If you have private health insurance with pharmaceutical cover, you may be eligible to receive a rebate from your insurer.
- Concession prices are available for Pensioners, health Care card holders and Veterans’ Affairs card holders. For most medications the price is limited to $5.30.
- Safety Net is for Safety Net Card Holders. Medications are available to Safety Net card holders at discounted prices subsidised by the Government. In many instances, these medications are free of charge to the card holder.
eMedical Pharmacy Online allows you to order the following types of items online:
Standard PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Prescriptions
This is the commonest form of prescription. Prices for these medications are determined by the Federal Government. In most cases, the most you need to pay is $37.80 unless your doctor has prescribed a more expensive brand which a premium may be payable.
Further information about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and how it subsidises medications is available at the Health Insurance Commission web site.
As for standard PBS medications, the price is set. Your doctor must obtain permission to issue this type of medication, as allowed by criteria associated with certain medical conditions. In most cases, your doctor will have obtained permission by telephone before giving you the prescription.
These medications are not government subsidised. Prices vary a great deal across pharmacies. Our prices are the cheapest available. If you have private health insurance with pharmaceutical cover, you may be eligible to receive a rebate from your insurer.
Concession Card Holders – Pensioners, Health Care Card and Veteran Affairs
Prices for most medications are $5.30.
Safety Net Card Holders
If you have spent more than a certain amount on medications in a calendar year, you may be eligible to receive a Safety Net card which entitles you to free or discounted medications. See the note below Safety Net thresholds.
A detailed explanation of how the Safety Net Scheme works is on the Health Insurance Commission web site.
Over The Counter
These items are available without needing a prescription.
Some Important Points Regarding Prescriptions
- S8 medication cannot be supplied. Medications in this category are considered dangerous or needing refrigeration.
- S3 medications may be available over the counter at a physical pharmacy, but only if the pharmacist has personally counselled you about their use. eMedical Pharmacy Online requires you to send a prescription before we can dispense S3 medications. This is a legal requirement in the State of Victoria to ensure that patients recieve adequate advice and counselling about medications.
- Generic products refer to medications that contain the same active ingredients but are made by other companies. They may be cheaper than the brand that your doctor has prescribed, and you may opt for another brand. Our pharmacist will check your selection at the time of dispensing.
There are different Medicare Safety Net thresholds depending on your circumstances.
2015 Medicare Safety Net thresholds
|Threshold amount||Who it is for||How it is calculated||What the benefit is|
|Original||$440.80||All Medicare cardholders||Based on gap amount||100% of schedule fee for out of hospital services|
|Extended Concessional and
FTB Part A
|$638.40||Concession cardholders and families eligible for FTB Part A||Out of pocket costs||80% of out of pocket costs or the EMSN benefit cap for out of hospital services|
|Extended general||$2,000.00||All Medicare cardholders||Out of pocket costs||80% of out of pocket costs or the EMSN benefit cap for out of hospital services|