By Kirsty Machon
National Policy Manager
A number of ocular lubricants on the optometry Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme may now be prescribed through the Streamlined Authority process. This means a telephone call is no longer necessary to prescribe these items on the PBS.
This is a welcome development, as Optometry Australia made numerous submissions and approaches about this issue, given that streamlining authority has been available to medical practitioners since 2007.
If a prescribed item is listed on the PBS as Authority (STREAMLINED), it does not require telephone or written approval to prescribe. To prescribe the item, the optometrist need only include the full four-digit authority code listed beside the item on the PBS on the prescription.
Presently, the Streamlined Authority for optometrists list includes a number of ocular lubricants. If an item does not specify Streamlined Authority, the prescriber is still required to obtain phone or written approval.
Optometry Australia has produced a short Fact Sheet that provides information about Streamlined Authority Prescribing.