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Changes for Opioid Dependence Treatment (ODT) medicines

From 1 July 2023, ODT medicines will become part of the Section 100 Highly Specialised Drugs (HSD) Program (Community Access) arrangements. This means ODT medicines will be dispensed in the same way as other community access Section 100 HSD Program medicines from section 90 approved community pharmacies, section 92 approved medical practitioners, and section 94 approved hospital authorities (public and private).

Under the Section 100 HSD Program, PBS-eligible patients will pay the PBS co-payment to access their treatment (for up to 28 days’ supply per pharmaceutical benefit prescribed) and the amount paid will contribute towards their PBS Safety Net threshold. Additional private dispensing or dosing fees cannot be charged by section 90 community or section 94 hospital pharmacies to patients for access to ODT medicines under the PBS.

Supplying patients with methadone liquid, buprenorphine sublingual tablets and buprenorphine + naloxone sublingual films often requires more frequent activities relating to in-pharmacy and take-away dosing. Therefore, from 1 July 2023, a community pharmacy program for ODT medicines will be established, including on-site pharmacist administration of injectable buprenorphine, that will introduce nationally consistent payment arrangements for ODT services provided by community pharmacists.

State and territory governments operate individual ODT programs in their respective jurisdictions. The operation of state and territory ODT programs are and will continue to be governed by the respective policies, guidelines and regulations within each of those jurisdictions.

The Commonwealth Government has published factsheets on the 1 July 2023 changes for opioid dependence treatment medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme on the ODT website.

The Pharmacy Programs Administrator (the PPA) has released Program Rules for the Opioid Dependence Treatment Community Pharmacy Program here.

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