Answering your questions about 60-day dispensing

Cate's Chemist is working to minimise the impacts of 60-day dispensing on our patients as implementation and training continues.

Not all medicines are eligible, and not all the eligible medicines are available to patients from 1 Sep 23. There is a phased implementation, and some medicines are affected by shortages.

The government has recently revised down its estimate of how many people may be eligible for cheaper medicine, from 6 to 4 million.

Why doesn't 60-day dispensing apply to my medicines?

  • Only some medicines for stable, chronic conditions are eligible for 60-day dispensing as recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, who decide which medicines are subsidised for Australians.
  • Your GP or specialist can then decide through discussing with you whether you are considered stable and suitable – your pharmacist cannot negotiate this on your behalf.
  • 60-day dispensing is only for scripts written after 1 Sep 2023
  • Not all the medicines recommended by PBAC will be available immediately – the Government have approved 92 medicines from 1 Sep 2023.
  • You can still use your 30-day script for those medicines until you are due for a new one.
  • You can keep asking for a 30-day script if you would prefer to see your pharmacist more regularly. Prices for some associated services like medication packing and delivery may be higher for 60-day scripts, so you may ask your prescriber for 30-day scripts.

Your medicine might not be considered suitable for 60-day dispensing if:

  • Having larger quantities might be a safety risk.
  • A medicine is new to you or to the Australian market.
  • You need regular monitoring of your health conditions, or your dose of your medicine requires regular adjustment.
  • Your health conditions mean your symptoms are unpredictable.
  • Your medicine is for a short-term health condition.

Cate's Chemist will not be able to dispense a 60-day prescription in these cases. We will always consult with your prescriber in these circumstances.

How does 60-day dispensing affect my Safety Net?

You may take longer to reach the Safety Net each year. You may also no longer reach the Safety Net before the end of the calendar year. If you still reach the Safety Net each year, you will not save any money overall from 60-day dispensing.

What other changes might I expect?

If subsequent phases are rolled out with no changes, the cost of other services and medicines you access may increase, including prescription items that are not PBS claimable. Some medicines may have additional out-of-stocks, you may be asked to come back for your medicines later or be given a different medicine. 

Our ability to continue heavily discounting medication packing and delivery for some 60-day prescription patients is being reviewed.

Because of the financial impact, we know some pharmacies have to:

  • Reduce opening hours.
  • Reduce staff meaning longer wait times.
  • Limit the services that are offered or the hours in which they are available.
  • Provide less access to free professional advice.

Pharmacy is working through these issues with the Government, to deliver cheaper medicines for all Australians in a way that does not adversely impact patients' access to community pharmacy services. There are solutions being negotiated now that can avoid pharmacy having to pass on the cost of other services.

What should I do if I have concerns?

Contact your GP if you have any questions about your eligibility for 60-day dispensing.

You can ask for a 30-day prescription if you believe a 60-day prescription doesn't suit you. You have that right. You cannot be ordered to accept a 60-Day prescription.

We apologise to patients for any disruption. If you are dissatisfied with your GP or Pharmacist explanation, we encourage you to express any dissatisfaction with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.