The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data collection contains information on prescription medicines that qualify for a benefit under the National Health Act 1953 and for which a claim has been processed. The database comprises information about PBS scripts and payments, patients, prescribers and dispensing pharmacies.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has access to the complete dataset held by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care for approved studies, including data linkage projects. 

The dataset is owned and managed by the Department of Health. The Department has issued a Public Interest Certificate approving AIHW access to PBS claims and under co-payment data for research and statistical purposes.

Collection details
Classification/dimension variables
  • Age
  • Sex

Temporal coverage 

from 1/2/1984

Geographical coverage


Data availability

  • Publications
  • Summary tables published in electronic form
  • Statistics

Client specified tables on request which may be subject to data provider approval (charges apply).

There are restrictions and limitations governing the availability or use of other data in this holding.

Unit records are not available.

Data scope 

PBS claims data are an administrative by-product of the Department of Human Services administration of the subsidised prescription payment system.

PBS prescriptions are available to all Australian residents who hold a current Medicare card and overseas visitors from countries with which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA).


Admin data

Metadata information and data quality statement (DQS)

Not specifically available for this data collection, however, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) state/territory data extract 2013-14 provided to states and territories may be useful to users of the data.

External links and information 

PBS online (Department of Health and Aged Care)


[email protected]

*Data collection with restricted access