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RPBS Listing

The RPBS provides pharmaceutical benefits to approximately 350,000 veterans and war widows.

What is the RPBS?

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) is a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) administered scheme providing pharmaceutical benefits to approximately 350,000 veterans and war widows.

Who is eligible to utilise the RPBS?

Holders of gold, white or orange repatriation cards are eligible, with the following restrictions:

  • Gold Card can be used for all prescriptions for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)/RPBS listed items for the entitled person.
  • White Card can be used for prescriptions for scheduled items for the entitled person's accepted conditions.
  • Orange Card can be used for all prescriptions for PBS/RPBS listed items for the entitled person except for conditions covered by a White Card.

What are eligible persons entitled to?

  • Items listed on the PBS.
  • Items listed on the RPBS. This includes a range of items specifically to cover veteran needs (e.g. wound care). These items are listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits at www.pbs.gov.au.
  • Other items that are not listed on either schedule if clinically justified and approval is granted by the DVA.

What Smith & Nephew items are listed on the RPBS ?

Click here to find out about Smith & Nephew product codes, dispensed quantities and eligible repeats available on the RPBS.

How are RPBS items prescribed?

Only Medical Practitioners can prescribe items on the RPBS. Prescriptions are to be completed on approved PBS/RPBS forms ticking either the RPBS or PBS box as appropriate. Some listed items require the Medical Practitioner get prior approval from the DVA to prescribe.

Community Nurses are able to access consumables for use by veterans during nursing visits through the RPBS. The nurse may ask a Medical Practitioner to provide a prescription for a veteran for the consumables they require. The nurse is encouraged to provide the Medical Officer with a copy of the wound management clinical pathway and suggested wound dressings.

Can items not listed on the RPBS be prescribed?

Yes, there is a provision within the RPBS to prescribe items not listed on the PBS or RPBS, if clinically justified. The Medical Officer must obtain prior approval from the DVA to prescribe items not listed on the RPBS. Requests must give details of the disease or purpose for which the pharmaceutical is required. Explanation must be given as to why scheduled items are not appropriate. Approval may be sought by telephone or in writing.

How much do RPBS items cost?

The 'Dispensed price' for items on the RPBS is contained in the "Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits at www.pbs.gov.au.
This is updated on the 1st of each month.

Who pays for these items?

Similarly to the PBS, RPBS prescriptions require a patient contribution charge (co-payment) to be paid. If an eligible veteran's expenditure reaches the concessional safety net threshold they may qualify to receive RPBS items free of charge for the remainder of the calendar year.

Further Information Sources

For Medical Practitioners: http://www.dva.gov.au/service_providers/doctors/Pages/info.aspx

For Pharmacists: http://www.dva.gov.au/service_providers/pharmacy/Pages/phindex.aspx

General:  Consult the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits at www.pbs.gov.au.