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

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.

Applying the code nationally

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.

How to access a pdf document

Complaints resolution process for 'price information'

This text representation of this flowchart is provided as a list with numbered steps.

Complaint about 'price information1' published for a therapeutic product

  1. Complaints Resolution Panel Central Mailbox - Go to Step 2 or Step 3
  2. Complaints about 'price information” for medicines included in Schedule 3 (other than those in Appendix H), S4 or S8 of the SUSDP.
    1. TGA Advertising Unit
      1. Price List published in NSW/QLD
        • TGA refers complaint to NSW or QLD Health Department - End flow chart
      2. Price List published in other STATE/TERRITORY
        • Step 1. TGA Takes appropriate action
        • Step 2. TGA refers outcome to relevant Professional Registration Board - End flow chart
  3. Complaints about advertisements for medicines included in Schedule 2. S3 (and included in Appendix H), S5, S6 of the SUSDP
    1. Industry Complaints Resolution Panel for advertisements in other media - End flow chart
    2. Complaints Resolution Panel for advertisements in 'specified media' - End flow chart

1 'Price Information' is defined in the TGA 'Price Information Code of Practice'