Nurse practitioner and midwife PBS prescribing consultation survey

Closed 1 Apr 2024

Opened 1 Mar 2024


Consultation is now open for the Review of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescribing by authorised nurse practitioners (notated as ‘NP’ on the PBS schedule) and endorsed midwives (notated as ‘MW’ on the PBS schedule) (the PBS Review).

The Department of Health and Aged Care (The Department) is currently undertaking a review for consideration by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) of PBS medicines that may be suitable for prescribing by nurse practitioners and midwives on the PBS. The purpose of this survey is to collect data to inform:

  • which medicines are frequently being prescribed privately (i.e. non-PBS) by nurse practitioners and endorsed midwives that are subsidised through the PBS for prescribing by another prescriber type, and
  • the settings in which this is occurring.


Why your views matter


Since 2010, nurse practitioners and endorsed midwives authorised to prescribe under state or territory legislation may apply for a PBS prescriber number. The PBAC, in making its recommendations to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on new or existing PBS listings, may provide advice about which prescriber types may write prescriptions for a medicine listed on the PBS. Prescribers must ensure compliance with any relevant state and territory legislation including limiting prescribing (PBS and non-PBS) to an individuals’ scope of practice.

In May 2023, the Nurse Practitioner Workforce Plan was released and included a recommended action to ‘review nurse practitioner prescribing of medicines on the PBS’ with the aim to ‘align the medicines authorised nurse practitioners can prescribe through the PBS and the Repatriation PBS (RPBS) with their full scope of practice.’ This PBS Review of prescribing by nurse practitioners and endorsed midwives is limited to medicines listed on the PBS and to the prescribers termed ‘authorised nurse practitioner’ and ‘authorised midwife’ within the National Health Act 1953 (the Act).

About the PBS Review

The Department is working with stakeholders to understand current gaps within the PBS that may prevent nurse practitioners and midwives from prescribing subsidised medicines within their scope of practice. These gaps may result in patients paying privately for their medicines and forgoing any PBS safety net benefits. It may also result in patients being referred to another prescriber solely for the purpose of obtaining a PBS prescription.

This PBS Review does not seek to add new medicines to the PBS or examine the merits of extending the list of authorised prescribers beyond those currently specified within the Act, nor does it seek to vary the scope of practice of nurse practitioners and endorsed midwives. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia regulates the practice of nurses and midwives in Australia, undertaking functions as set out by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 which is in force in each State and Territory.

The PBAC welcomes input from consumers, carers, health professionals, consumer groups or organisations and members of the public on matters submitted for PBAC consideration.

What happens next

The findings of this open consultation, together with findings from targeted consultation with relevant stakeholder groups will be presented to the PBAC for its consideration.


  • Anyone from any background


  • All