International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names
Some active ingredient names used in Australia differ from those used internationally. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has updated more than 200 active ingredient names used in Australia as part of their International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names reform. A full list is available on the TGA website. About 90 of these changes affect medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These new names will be incorporated within the PBS during 2017.
While some of the changes to active ingredient names have already appeared in the PBS Schedule, the bulk of the changes to the Schedule are expected to be incorporated from July 2017. Changes will subsequently appear in prescribing and pharmacy dispensing software products that use PBS Schedule data.
Changes to medicine active ingredient names due to the International Harmonisation of Ingredient Names are not intended, of themselves, to trigger PBS pricing changes.
The Department and professional groups have developed a counselling tool on the ingredient name changes for pharmacists and other health professionals. A copy of the counselling tool (PDF 356KB) – (Word 26KB) is available for download.
The counselling tool provides a handy table of the most common changes that will be seen by consumers and health professionals during 2017. The tool confirms that while some ingredient names are changing, the actual medicine, brand name (in most cases) and the medicine’s effect have not changed.
By Chris Johnson