About Prescription Pricing

At Northcote Discount Chemist, we strive to provide high-quality, professional service. We therefore sometimes require medical details as listed in our registration form to ensure we are able to identify any potential drug, health and or allergic interactions. For anyone ordering a prescription or over the counter medication, this is mandatory to ensure your safety. 

As a result of Australia's Health Scheme, individuals may be entitled to different prices for PBS prescriptions. Each prescription item will therefore have different options such as concession - with pricing changes dependent upon individual circumstances.


These are medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and are the only medicines the government will subsidise. The complete list can be found at www.pbs.gov.au. These prices are set by the government and under current legislation any subsidised medicine cannot be discounted. Prescription Record Form (PRF) stickers will be supplied with all PBS prescriptions and Safety Net Totals will be kept for patients. Where no price appears in the PBS field, the prescription is only available as a Private Prescription. In certain circumstances a PBS listed medicine may not be eligible to be subsidised for certain patients. In these cases, the patient will have to pay the Private Prescription price - see Private Prescriptions below.


Orders containing PBS prescriptions: If your order contains a PBS prescription you may be eligible for free standard postage within Australia. To see whether you are eligible please refer to the Standard Postage table here.


Concession Patients:


  • Patient copayment of $6.50 per script

  • 2019 PBS Safety Net Threshold at $6.50 per script, $390/$6.50 = 60 scripts within a calendar year

  • Patient copayment with $1 discount = $5.50 per script

  • 2019 PBS Safety Net Threshold at $5.50 per script (discount applied), $390/$5.50 = 70.9 scripts (rounding to 71 scripts)

  • Therefore, if you normally reach your PBS Safety Net Threshold within 10 months (i.e. In October with 6 scripts per month), if will take you an additional 2 months to meet the threshold if each script were discounted (i.e. In December, before the end of the calendar year)


General Patients:


  • Patient copayment of $40.30 per script

  • Each PBS script may contribute up to $40.30 onto a Safety Net prescription record form - the recorded value for each PBS medicine must not exceed the “maximum recorded value” as stated on the PBS schedule

  • 2019 Safety Net Threshold: $1,550.70

  • Discount does not apply to any script under the PBS copayment where a medicine cost less than $40.30

  • Therefore, if you normally pay for 3 scripts per month at the maximum copayment of $40.30 per script, the discount will reduce the contribution to your Safety Net prescription record form by $3 per month


Discounted PBS Price

  • If you have a Medicare card you are entitled to receive medication at this price

  • If you pay this price our pharmacy's software will record the eligible patient contribution toward your PBS safety net for the PBS prescriptions supplied

  • Some medicines may have the word AUTHORITY REQUIRED next to the Discounted PBS Price, if this is the case you are only entitled to this price if you have an Authority Prescription

Concession PBS Price

  • If you hold a Medicare card and a valid concessional benefits card (see below) you are entitled to this price

  • If you pay this price Northcote Discount Chemist’s pharmacy software will record the eligible patient contribution towards your PBS safety net for the PBS prescriptions supplied

Private Prescription Price

  • This price is available to anyone with a valid Australian prescription

  • When a prescription is dispensed as a private prescription you do not receive any safety net contribution toward your PBS safety net

Safety Net Price

  • If you hold a Medicare card and a valid safety net Entitlement Card you are entitled to this price.


Under the PBS, the maximum cost for a pharmaceutical benefit item at a pharmacy is $40.30 for general patients and $6.50 for concessional patients, plus any applicable special patient contribution, brand premium or therapeutic group premium. From 1 January 2016, pharmacists have the option to discount the PBS patient co-payment by up to $1.00 (unless the prescription is an early supply of a specified medicine, in which case, the full co-payment applies).



At Northcote Discount Chemist, we value our customers and understand that saving money is important. We are however ethically bound to comply with the quantity of prescription medication you receive is both a safe and reasonable manner in line with your doctor’s intentions and directions. Similarly, we must also comply with your doctor’s instructions on dispensing repeats. As such we are only permitted to supply multiple repeats or an increased quantity if your doctor prescribes that quantity or if the prescription is endorsed by the doctor "Regulation 24". A regulation 24 prescription can only be dispensed on an original script and not a repeat.


If the doctor has not indicated that a larger quantity can be dispensed we will only supply one (1) repeat and refund the difference. E.g. If your prescription is written out for 30 Tablets with 5 repeats and it does not have "Regulation 24" written on the script, the ONLY quantity we are legally allowed to dispense is 30 at one time. Further dispensing of this product could only occur after an appropriate length of time (usually 21 days, dependent on dosage). In this instance if you (the patient) would like to obtain 180 Tablets then your doctor must endorse the prescription "Regulation 24" or the quantity must be written out for 180 and not 30. We can no longer accept signed authority forms from your doctor as permission to dispense more than one pack.

It should also be noted that if you order any prescription item as Private, NO PBS stickers will be issued and it will not count towards your Safety Net total for the year. Once any prescription order has been sent the product cannot be returned for a refund even if your doctor changes your medication or you have an adverse reaction.



Patients may elect to have repeats filed with Northcote Discount Chemist for future dispensing. Keeping your repeats safely and securely on file means that we can immediately process future orders for your medication when you order and pay online.


Only prescriptions written by registered Australian Doctors can be dispensed. Refrigerated lines cannot be supplied online but may be collected from store (Click & Collect).

Overseas customers can purchase products except prescription lines. We reserve the right to refuse supply of any goods we feel may contravene our professional obligations. Due to government regulations, faxes or emails of prescriptions cannot be dispensed but can initiate the process of supply pending the receipt of the paper prescription.


Contact a Pharmacist

To email one of our pharmacists please email us @ Northcote Discount Chemist 


To speak with one of our team of friendly pharmacists call us (03) 9481 7255

  • Monday to Friday 9:00am to 6:00pm AEST

  • Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm AEST

  • Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm AEST


Some PBS medications are restricted and require prior approval from Medicare before a doctor is able to prescribe them on the PBS. This prior approval to prescribe grants the doctor the Authority to prescribe the desired medicine and have it funded under the PBS. Authority to prescribe an Authority medicine is granted for specific indications and/or for certain patient circumstances. Authority may be obtained by telephone to Medicare Australia (known as "phone approval") or in writing from an authorised delegate of the Minister for Health. Prescriptions must be written on an Authority Prescription Form, and the approval number must be noted on the prescription. Pharmacists cannot dispense the item as a pharmaceutical benefit unless it has been approved by Medicare Australia (indicated by the presence of the approval number). Some drugs may have Authority Required (Streamlined) status which does not require an explicit approval from Medicare, instead the doctor can use the Authority code found in the published Schedule for a given drug/indication. But still pharmacists cannot dispense the item as a pharmaceutical benefit unless it has the necessary Authority code.''