Medicines help to prevent, treat or cure disease. Some are available over the counter, others need a prescription from a health practitioner. Find out what we’re doing to help make sure medicines in Australia are safe, good quality and accessible, and do what they say they will do.

About medicines

The different types of medicines and how they are classified.

What we do

How we make sure medicines are as safe and effective as possible.

Access to medicines

How you can access medicines and how we manage shortages.

Cost of medicines

How we keep medicines affordable for Australians.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises a large number of medicines to keep their cost down for Australians.

Read about the PBS

Biosimilar medicines

Some pharmaceutical companies make medicines that are very similar to existing biological medicines. These are known as biosimilar medicines. We have resources available to help you understand and have confidence in biosimilar medicines.

Biosimilar medicines resource collection

Latest news

Latest news

Your Aged Care Update newsletter issue #36 – 19 September 2023

Your Aged Care Update #34: Residential aged care pricing activities – access for the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority and more.

Update from the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer – September 2023

A newsletter from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan with updates from the nursing and midwifery sector, some personal priorities and highlights, and an insight on what's happening across the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Medicines Line

1300 633 424

Contact Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE for information on prescription, over-the-counter and other medicines (including complementary medicines). Calls are answered by registered pharmacists. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm AEST (excluding NSW public holidays).

Latest resources

Latest resources

Certification Statement – Cheaper Medicines campaign

This certification statement, signed by Secretary Blair Comley on 26 September 2023, certifies that the Cheaper Medicines campaign complies with relevant guidelines and policies.