Changes to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Australia listing of hydromorphone oral solution

08 August 2022

Changes to dispensing volumes will assist good opioid stewardship in prescribing for children and adolescents.

Changes to the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of oral solution containing hydromorphone hydrochloride 1 mg per mL, 473 mL (hydromorphone oral solution) are being made to allow pharmacists to dispense volumes smaller than a whole bottle at PBS-subsidised prices.

This change will assist prescribers to engage in good opioid stewardship by limiting volumes prescribed, especially for patients such as children and adolescents. Prescribing too much opioid medication for a patient to take home risks overdose or extended use, and exposes the community to risk of misuse or diversion of leftover medication.

The college contributed to the recent development of the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Healthcare’s (ACSQHC’s) Opioid Analgesic Stewardship in Acute Pain Clinical Care Standard.

ANZCA and FPM commend this change and will continue to advocate for similar changes to prescribing volumes for oxycodone and morphine oral solutions.

More detail on the change is available from PBS website: Changes to PBS listing of hydromorphone oral solution.

More from ANZCA and FPM on opioid stewardship is available from:


Last updated 16:24 8.08.2022