To provide the best service for our veterans and their families, we have created guidance for our providers. Learn when you need us to approve prescriptions and who can get medicines under the RPBS.
The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) provides eligible veteran card holders with access to pharmaceuticals that are:
Eligible DVA clients
Under the RPBS, eligible veteran card holders may receive:
- items listed for supply in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- items listed under the RPBS, including wound care products
- items not listed on either the PBS or RPBS Schedules, if there is a clinical need
The full schedule of items listed under the RPSB are available on the PBS website.
Prior approval is not needed to prescribe a large range of scheduled pharmaceuticals available under the RPBS.
You do need our prior approval to prescribe:
- medicines listed as requiring prior approval
- greater quantities or repeats than those listed
- medicines or items not listed in either the PBS or RPBS Schedules
Please use the PBS/RPBS Authority prescription form for prior approval.
For Authority Required prior approvals either:
phone us on 1800 552 580
write to us at:
Reply Paid No. 9998
GPO Box 9998
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Requests for prior approval can be made with the Veterans' Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC).
Requests need to include information about the:
- patient's eligibility under the RPBS
- disease or condition
- clinical reasons for the prescription
Requests for approval of non-scheduled items need to include an explanation of the reason why scheduled items are not appropriate.
A unique RPBS Authority approval number is provided to prescribers for each approved telephone request. This number must be endorsed on all copies of the Authority prescription.
Contact the RPBS 24 hours a day on 1800 552 580.
Applications in writing
Some items may require you to write an application.
To do this you need to give:
- client information
- details of past and current therapy
- a clinical report on the patient's condition
- proposed treatment regimen
- clinical justification including evidence to support treatment
Applications can be made on your letterhead by email to ppo [at] dva.gov.au or mail to:
GPO Box 9998
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Treating general practitioners (GPs) and accredited pharmacists can arrange a MBS item 900 Home Medicines Review (HMR) for:
- war widowed partners
There is no requirement for pharmacists to register with us before providing a HMR service.
Veteran Gold card
Veteran Gold Card holders can obtain pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for all medical conditions.
Veteran White card
Veteran White Card holders can obtain pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for:
- accepted service-related injuries or conditions
- all mental health conditions
- cancer (malignant neoplasm) covered under non-liability health care
- pulmonary tuberculosis covered under non-liability health care
If a White Card holder also has 1 of the following cards, they can receive medicines for other conditions under the PBS:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Health Care Card - the medicines can be charged at either the general rate or the concession rate
Veteran Orange Card
Veteran Orange Card holders can only receive pharmaceuticals under the RPBS for their medical conditions. They cannot access any medical or other health care treatment.
If a person holds both a White Card and an Orange Card they can:
- use the White Card for treatment and medicines of their accepted and NLHC conditions
- use the Orange Card for pharmaceuticals for all other conditions
Veterans' MATES is the Veterans' Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services program. It aims to improve the use of medicines and related health services in the veteran community.
With this information, health professionals can help veteran clients:
- manage their medical conditions
- use and take their medicines appropriately
See our Veterans' MATES page for more information or visit Veterans' MATES.
The Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee (RPRC):
- advises the Repatriation Commission, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the Minister on the clinical appropriateness for items available under the RPBS
- ensures that the listed items and their conditions of supply are the most appropriate to meet the special and individual needs of eligible veterans and their dependants.
Clinical experts from various medical specialities make up the RPRC. Independent representative bodies nominate members to the committee.
The RPRC meets 2 times a year to consider all new listing submissions and any relevant pharmaceutical matters. Pharmaceutical companies (sponsors) or their agents are welcome to make new RPBS listing submissions for consideration by us.
Sponsors should send submissions to the RPRC Secretariat 6 weeks before the next meeting.
Submissions to be sent by email to Repatriation.Pharmaceutical.Reference.Committee [at] dva.gov.au or mail to:
Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
GPO Box 9998
Brisbane QLD 4001
For more information on submissions refer to:
Next RPRC meeting
The next scheduled meeting is 13 November 2020. Please provide submissions to the RPRC Secretariat by Friday 9 October 2020.