Key concepts

Mental health-related prescriptions

Key concept Description
Mental health‑related medications Mental health‑related medications are defined in this section as 5 selected medication groups as classified in the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System (WHO 2021), namely antipsychotics (code N05A), anxiolytics (code N05B), hypnotics and sedatives (code N05C), antidepressants (code N06A), and psychostimulants, agents used for ADHD and nootropics (code N06B)—prescribed by all medical practitioners (that is, general practitioners (GPs), non‑psychiatrist specialists and psychiatrists).
Patient co-payment Under the PBS/RPBS the cost of prescription medicines is subsidised by the Commonwealth government. Patients are classified as either general or concessional, and are required to pay a patient co-payment towards the cost of their prescription according to their patient status. At 1 January 2019 the co-payment was $40.30 (general) and $6.50 (concessional).
Prescriptions The information on prescriptions in this section is sourced from the processing of the PBS/RPBS and refers to medications prescribed by medical practitioners and subsequently dispensed by approved suppliers (community pharmacies or hospital pharmacies). Consequently, it is a count of prescriptions dispensed rather than a count of the prescriptions written by medical practitioners. 
Subsidised prescriptions

A PBS/RPBS prescription is subsidised when the dispensed price of a medication exceeds the patient co-payment. The PBS/RPBS covers the difference between the full cost of the medication and the patient co-payment.

Under co-payment prescriptions

A PBS/RPBS prescription is classified as under co-payment when there is no government subsidy as the dispensed price of the prescription does not exceed the patient co-payment, and the patient pays the full cost of the medication.   


WHO 2021. Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification . Oslo: WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology. Viewed 25 February 2021.