Active ingredient prescribing is MANDATORY from Monday 1st February. This means your Prescriptions will look different. Active ingredients will appear “first” on your prescriptions.
What is an active ingredient?
Active ingredients are the ingredients in medicines that have an effect in the body. Examples include paracetamol, ibuprofen and insulin.
Your Doctor may continue to include a brand name on prescriptions wherever clinically necessary for their patient. Where a brand name is included on prescriptions, the active ingredient must appear first.
PBS and RPBS prescriptions now need to include information about the active ingredients in each medicine. If a prescriber would also like to include the medicine brand name, it will appear after the active ingredient information.
This means that it will be easier for you and your prescriber or pharmacist to talk about your options for different medicines that contain the same active ingredient.
The changes will see greater consistency around how people see medicines information.
This can lead to safer and more appropriate use of medicines by making it easier to:
-Check if you are taking the same active ingredient in more than one prescription medicine – to prevent accidental double dosing
-Check that you’re not taking an active ingredient you’re allergic to
-Check that the active ingredient can be taken with medicines that have other active ingredients
-Identify suitable alternatives to your usual medicines when travelling overseas.
Health professionals can still prescribe a specific brand of medicine if they think it’s necessary. Please discuss with your pharmacy the option of receiving the brand of medication you are familiar with when you submit your prescription.
Some prescription medicines have more than one active ingredient, and these will all be listed on the prescription.
Except in the following situations:
-Handwritten prescriptions
-Paper-based medicine charts in the residential aged care sector
-Medicines that contain four or more active ingredients
-Medicines that have been excluded to protect patient safety
-Where it is impractical to prescribe the medicine by active ingredient.
We understand these changes may take some getting use to, please discuss with your GP if you need any clarification. We also ask that if you are responsible for purchasing medication for family or the Elderly that you discuss these changes with them.