The next step in dual labelling phase-out

2 minute read

The PBS schedule has been updated to show new international drug ingredient names.

Today marks (almost) the final step in Australia’s assimilation to using more common international medicine ingredient names, as we phase out dual labelling.  

Between 1 May 2020 and 30 April 2023, known as the transition period, old medicine ingredient names were included in brackets following the new international names to provide the opportunity for prescribers to familiarise themselves with new ingredient names, some of which were quite significant changes from the previous nomenclature. 

Today the PBS updated its list of government-subsidised medicines to show sole ingredient names for many of these PBS-listed medicines, for which the dual labelling requirements ceased on 30 April 2023. 

One major change is eformoterol, used as a bronchodilator in the management of asthma, which will now be separated into its constituent parts; formoterol and either aclidinium, beclometasone, budesonide and/or glycopyrronium. 

Other minor changes include; 

  • procaine penicillin, which is now procaine benzylpenicillin 
  • lignocaine, now lidocaine 
  • frusemide, now furosemide
  • phenobarbitone, now phenobarbital 

Although PBS listings for drugs have now been updated, changes to packaging will remain in transition with all medicines released for supply from 1 May 2026 mandated to show the new names only. 

Prescribers are advised to take care when prescribing drugs with name changes during this transition to ensure the right medicines are dispensed to patients. 

Also transitioning shortly, the national PDS, which commenced on 1 July, mandates that all prescribers connect to the PDSs by 30 September to continue prescribing eligible medicine. Prescribers must register their clinicians as soon as possible and may wish to check for necessary software updates.  

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