Price information code of practice
8 April 2011
The Price Information Code of Practice (the Price Code) sets out the conditions for the publication of prices of prescription and certain pharmacist-only medicines.
The Price Code applies across Australia but on a State by State basis. It came into effect on a voluntary basis in all States and Territories other than Queensland (where it was already mandatory) on 1 February 2007.
On 25 February 2008 and 14 February 2009, the Price Code became mandatory in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory respectively.
The Price Code sets out the conditions for the publication of prices of medicines listed in Schedules 3, 4 and 8 of the current Poisons Standard.
The Code does not regulate the provision of price information for medicines that are permitted to be advertised, such as over-the-counter medicines in Schedule 2 of the current Poisons Standard, medicines in Schedule 3 that are in Appendix H of the current Poisons Standard, or medicines that are exempt from scheduling.
It had been intended that the Price Code would remain in place on a voluntary basis until it was given legal underpinning through legislation developed as part of the proposed Australian New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority (ANZTPA). However, the postponement in July 2007 of negotiations between the Australian and New Zealand Governments to establish the joint regulatory scheme, has resulted in the need to explore alternative options to provide legal underpinning of the Code.
The Price Code formalises the TGA's advisory documentation on the publication of price information (first published in 2000) and provides clearer advice for advertisers.
The Price Code was released for stakeholder consultation in May 2004. The Regulation Impact Statement (the RIS) includes a description of the comments received. The RIS assisted the National Coordinating Committee on Therapeutic Goods (NCCTG) to determine the most appropriate regulatory mechanism for the provision to consumers of price information about the categories of medicines specified above. The Price Code was one of three regulatory options considered in the RIS.
Concerns were expressed by some stakeholders about the need for caution in permitting price information to be published on medicines that are at a higher risk of misuse or abuse.
Accordingly, the Price Code includes provision for Schedule A as a list of substances which cannot be included in a price list, where it has been demonstrated that inclusion on a price list will lead to a higher risk of abuse or misuse. NCCTG members have recommended that this list should be reviewed 12 months after formal implementation.
Complaints relating to price information will continue to be addressed under the current arrangements for handling advertising-related complaints. Refer to the flowchart below.
Content last updated: Friday, 8 April 2011
Content last reviewed: Friday, 8 April 2011
Web page last updated: Monday, 2 May 2011