Published for the Commonwealth Dept. of Health by A.G.P.S.
The announcement in the 2009 federal budget to allow nurse practitioners and midwives access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Medicare Benefits Scheme,1 and the subsequent announcement of a November 2010 start date,2 has brought non-medical prescribing into the public arena. Non-medical prescribing is not a new concept in Australia as nurse practitioners, podiatrists and optometrists have been authorised to prescribe under various state legislations for some time. However, state legislation is not uniform in relation to authorisation or formulary. Midwives are currently seeking prescribing rights,3 and other groups such as physiotherapists and pharmacists are likely to seek them in the future.