Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) provides a wide range of Pharmaceuticals and dressings at a concession rate for the treatment of eligible veterans, war widows/widowers, and their dependants.  Included under the RPBS are: 

  • Items listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (SPB) available to the general community under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
  • An additional list of items contained in the Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (RSPB) which is available only to veterans.
  • Items not listed on the SPB or RSPB on a case-by-case basis.

To view the full Schedule of Items listed under the RPBS, see www.pbs.gov.au

Prior Approval applications

Prior approval is not required from DVA to prescribe a large range of scheduled pharmaceuticals available under the RPBS.  However, prior approval is required from DVA to prescribe:

  • Medicines listed as requiring prior approval;
  • Greater quantities and/or repeats than that listed;
  • and Medicines not listed in the schedules.

Enquiries regarding RPBS items including prior approval applications can be directed to the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC) on 1800 552 580 (24 hr free call)

Pharmaceutical and Health Treatment Cards 

Repatriation Health card – For All Conditions (Gold Card) holders can obtain pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for all medical conditions.

Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card) holders can obtain

Pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for their accepted disabilities. 

Australian veterans are also covered for malignant cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if these conditions are accepted by DVA.  Medicines for the treatment of other conditions are available under the PBS, either at the general rate, or concession rate (if holder of a Pensioner Concession Card/Commonwealth Seniors Health Card/Health Care Card).

Holders of a Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Card (Orange Card) can obtain pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for all medical conditions.  Orange Card holders are not entitled to any medical or other health care treatment.  Those also holding a White Card should continue to use it to obtain treatment and pharmaceuticals related to their accepted disabilities and use the Orange Card to obtain pharmaceuticals for all other conditions.

For information on beneficiaries entitlement cards and eligibility for Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits can go to www.pbs.gov.au/html/healthpro/browseby/rpbs

For more information refer to DVA Factsheets HSV92 Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS),and HIP60 Information for Prescribers of Medication under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee

The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee (RPRC) advises the Repatriation Commission and the Minister on the clinical appropriateness of the range of items available under the RPBS.  The Committee ensures that the listed items and their conditions of supply are the most appropriate to meet the special and individual needs of entitled veterans and war widow(ers).

The RPRC membership comprises clinical experts from various medical specialties such as geriatrics, oncology, palliative care, pharmacology and psychiatry and are nominated by various independent representative bodies. 

The Committee usually meets two to three times a year (depending on workload) to review all new listing submissions and any matters relevant to the RPRC.  Pharmaceutical companies (sponsors) or their agents are welcome to make new RSPB listing submissions for consideration by the RPRC at this time. 

Submissions should be sent to the RPRC Secretariat at the following address no later than six weeks prior to the next meeting: 

The Secretariat
Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
PO Box 9998
Canberra ACT 2601

For more information on submissions please refer to:

Scheduled RPRC meetings for 2014:
7 November 2014