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PBS Updates Authority Requirements for Pediatric Chronic Plaque Psoriasis Treatment

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Effective November 1, 2023, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will implement changes in the authority requirements for the PBS listing of etanercept, specifically for the treatment of children and adolescents with severe Chronic Plaque Psoriasis. These changes aim to simplify the prescription process, benefiting both prescribers and patients.

The alterations primarily impact etanercept’s PBS listings for initial therapy, transitioning from “Authority Required (Written)” to “Authority Required (telephone/immediate online assessment).” For completing a course of treatment, the PBS listings will shift to “Authority Required (Streamlined).”

The primary objective behind these changes is to reduce the administrative load on healthcare providers and enhance patient access to these vital treatments. Prescribers will no longer need to submit written applications for etanercept prescriptions; they can now request them via telephone or the Online PBS Authorities system (OPA), receiving immediate outcomes for their requests. This streamlined process ensures that eligible patients can leave their appointments with their prescriptions.

Moreover, prescribers will no longer require prior approval from Services Australia to continue treatment and complete the course with etanercept, spanning weeks 16 to 24. However, in cases where a patient transitions from etanercept to ustekinumab, prescribers must provide baseline disease severity indicators.

It’s important to note that the PBS eligibility criteria for etanercept treatment in children and adolescents with severe chronic plaque psoriasis remain unchanged, although some wording adjustments in the PBS listings have occurred due to the alterations in authority type.

For pharmacists, all prescriptions written before November 1, 2023, remain valid, and they can continue dispensing these prescriptions as usual. Specific PBS item codes have been introduced for the Authority Required (Streamlined) listings to complete a course of treatment, offering clarity in the dispensing process.

Parents and caregivers of children and adolescents receiving etanercept treatment should be reassured that their current prescriptions remain valid. In the future, obtaining a new prescription for their child will be more expedited once the doctor establishes PBS eligibility, eliminating the need for waiting periods. Any concerns can be addressed by consulting with the doctor or pharmacist.

the upcoming changes in PBS authority requirements for etanercept treatment for pediatric Chronic Plaque Psoriasis seek to simplify the prescription process, enhance patient access, and provide more efficient healthcare for affected children and adolescents.

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