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International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names – PBS Changes

Update – 6 December 2017

Some active ingredient names used in Australia differ from those used internationally. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has updated over 200 active ingredient names used in Australia as part of their International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names (IHIN) reform.

A full list is available on the TGA website. Around 90 of these changes affect medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These new names will be incorporated within the PBS during 2018.

Changes to the PBS Schedule

While some of the changes to active ingredient names have already appeared in the PBS Schedule, the bulk of the changes to the Schedule will be incorporated during 2018, commencing 1 January 2018.

Changes will subsequently appear in prescribing and pharmacy dispensing software products that use PBS Schedule data.

This advice updates a previous news item (International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names – PBS changes – 3 May 2017) which indicated implementation of the changes was expected to commence July 2017.

Pricing of PBS Medicines

Changes to medicine active ingredient names due to the International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names are not intended, of themselves, to trigger PBS pricing changes.

Counselling Tool for Pharmacists and Other Health Professionals

The Department and professional groups have developed a counselling tool on the ingredient name changes for pharmacists and other health professionals. A copy of the counselling tool is available for download.

The counselling tool provides a handy table of the most common changes that will be seen by consumers and health professionals during 2018.

The tool confirms that while some ingredient names are changing, the actual medicine, brand name (in most cases) and the medicine’s effect have not changed.

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