Through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, or PBS, Australian residents holding a Medicare card can access over 5,000 brands of PBS medicines.
From the 1st of January 2023, if you spend $1,563.50 on PBS medicines in a year, you can qualify for the PBS Safety Net. This amount is known as the Safety Net threshold.
For concession card holders, the Safety Net threshold is $262.80.
If you qualify for the Safety Net, you pay a lower amount for medicines for the rest of that year.
Concession card holders receive medicines for free for the rest of that year, plus any applicable premiums.
Some brands of the same medicine have an extra charge set by the supplier called a brand premium.
But there's no difference in quality between brands – all PBS listed brands have been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as equally effective.
Talk to your pharmacist about how to save on your PBS medicines or visit health.gov.au/PBS