Thursday, November 30, 2023

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Double dispensing rules: what are the grounds for refusal?

Since the introduction of the 60-day prescription of PBS medicines in September, many patients can now receive twice the medication for the cost of a single prescription. From September 2024 this will apply to more than 300 medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). While pharmacists’ opinions on the ‘double dispensing’ policy vary greatly, the expectation from both clients and prescribers is that prescriptions will be fulfilled.

A bit of context

In response to calls related to denials of 60-day scripts, the Pharmaceutical Defense Limited (PDL) has issued its position with regards to pharmacists who would look to decline to dispense, citing misalignment of double dispensing as it relates to PBS restricted benefit listings.

In a recent statement to Pharmacy Daily, PDL notes that under PBS guidelines it is the “prescriber’s responsibility to determine if a patient is entitled to receive a restricted benefit”. As always, the pharmacist’s role of ensuring the health and safety of the client remains. Reservations around PBS benefits that do not involve the health and safety of the client do not represent what the PDL considers a valid reason to decline a 60-day script.

Key points to note

  • According to current guidelines, 60-day scripts should be filled, unless there's an identified risk to client health.
  • Denial of a 60-day prescription can lead to a Professional Indemnity notification. Which, even if it doesn’t eventuate to a claim, will require your insurer (and legal) to respond. This adds an additional risk where your insurer may review and increase the cost of future Professional Indemnity cover upon renewal.

Next steps

If you have questions or concerns about the double dispensing rules, feel free to reach out.

Nick Squillari

Client Executive

Honan Insurance Group Pty Ltd (Honan) (Australian Financial Services Licence no. 246749, ABN 67 005 372 396) is an insurance broker acting as agent for insureds and intending insureds. Honan is not an insurer.  The information in these articles are current as at the date of first publication and have been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Any advice provided in these articles is of a general nature only. Any statements concerning tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on Honan’s experience as an insurance broker and are not to be relied upon as accounting, tax or legal advice. Before making a decision to purchase an insurance policy, please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement to make sure the policy is right for you.  Insurance cover is subject to policy terms and conditions including policy limits and exclusions.

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