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 2011), namely antipsychotics (code N05A), anxiolytics (code N05B), hypnotics and sedatives (code N05C), antidepressants (code N06A), and psychostimulants and nootropics (code N06B)—prescribed by all medical practitioners (that is, general practitioners (GPs), non‑psychiatrist specialists and psychiatrists) (WHO 2016).
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

Subsidised prescriptions are prescriptions paid for through a Commonwealth government subsidy, either the PBS or the RPBS. Patients must satisfy a number of conditions before they can be eligible for subsidised prescriptions. Not all medications can be claimed under the scheme. See the data source section for more information.

Under co-payment prescriptions

Under co-payment prescriptions are those prescribed medications where the total cost of the prescription is under the threshold for PBS/RPBS subsidy, and the total cost is therefore covered by the patient. See the data source section for more information.



WHO 2011. ATC: Structure and principles. Oslo: WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology. Viewed April 2016.

WHO 2016. Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms published by the World Health Organization. Viewed May 2016.