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2020 brings good news for our patients or families that take a number of regular medications, the Government has reduced the Safety Net Threshold this year.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) safety net thresholds have been cut by $73.20 for concession card holders – down from $390 to $316.80 – and $63.90 for general patients – down from $1,550.70 to $1,486.80 from 01 January.
Under the new arrangements, concessional patients/families will require 12 fewer PBS prescriptions to be filled each year to qualify for the safety net.
The PBS/RPBS Safety Net helps people who need a lot of prescription medicines. Once you have reached your PBS Safety Net threshold, your PBS medicines, and those medicines supplied through the out-patients department of a public hospital will be less expensive (if you are a general patient) or free (if you are a concessional patient) for the rest of the calendar year.
To be eligible for the PBS Safety Net you need to keep a record of the PBS medicines you have been supplied from your community pharmacy, as well as those medicines supplied through a public hospital outpatient department. Your pharmacist will keep a computer record of your PBS expenditure if you visit the same pharmacy. If you get medications from multiple pharmacies or the hospital, ask your pharmacist for a PBS record card. Hand this in to the pharmacy when handing in your prescriptions to be dispensed and the pharmacist will record the dispensing on the record card.
Concessional patients will pay $6.60 per prescription this year. However, some medications may have a brand price premium (BPP) which will increase the cost. There is usually another brand available that won’t have the brand price premium. Check with your pharmacist. General patients will pay a maximum of $41.00 per PBS prescription (excluding any BPP).
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