Therapeutic Prescribing

Therapeutic Prescribing

If you wish to become endorsed to prescribe S4 medicines you need to complete a one year postgraduate Ocular Therapeutics program. This program is available at: 

  • University of New South Wales (UNSW) - face to face
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT) - face to face
  • Australian College of Optometry (ACO) - online

Optometrists who are based in Western Australia or South Australia can contact their respective State Division who run annual Ocular Therapeutics courses in partnership with UNSW.

What can I prescribe once endorsed?

Optometrists who hold a scheduled medicines endorsement with the Optometry Board of Australia are qualifed to prescribe poisons as per the Board-approved National list of S4 poisons. 

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Some of the medicines optometrists prescribe are listed under the PBS. Some are not PBS listed. Optometrists who have been approved to prescribe PBS medicines must only write PBS prescriptions for medicines listed on the PBS. Medicines not listed on the PBS can be prescribed privately.

While some optometric PBS medicines are unrestricted sometimes medicines listed on the optometric PBS can only be written as PBS prescriptions when they meet certain restrictions or have authority granted in advance. If a prescription is not PBS authorised or does not meet PBS restriction criteria optometrists can still prescribe the medicine however it must be a private prescription (i.e. not eligible for PBS subsidy).

Looking for specific PBS information

Medicine scheduling

The Poisons Standard (SUSMP) promotes uniform medicine scheduling in Australia where S4 is prescription only medicine, S3 is phamacist advised over the counter medicine and S2 is over the counter medicine. 

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