Efficient funding of chemotherapy initiative

A range of chemotherapy drugs are available for day admitted, non-admitted patients and patients on discharge from public hospitals participating in the Pharmaceutical Reforms. These medicines are distributed under Section 100 of the National Health Act 1953.

Chemotherapy drugs used for the treatment of cancer and administered through infusion or injection are included in this initiative.

Access the Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Schedule for the most recent publication – Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy Supplement.

About the program

Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy (the Revised Arrangements) replaced the Chemotherapy Pharmaceuticals Access Program (CPAP). The new program is intended by the Commonwealth to achieve greater efficiency in the use of injectable and infusible chemotherapy medicines used in the treatment of cancer.

Patient charges

Admitted public hospital day patients receiving drugs under this arrangement will not have to pay a copayment for their chemotherapy medicines.

Patients will be charged co-payments (similar to community PBS copayments) for medicines dispensed on discharge or received as an outpatient.

Hospital pharmacy and prescriber information

  • prescribers of these drugs must write dose specific prescriptions, which specify the amount of active ingredient/s required for a single infusion or injection using milligrams, or other relevant unit of measure
  • prescribing will exclude reference to forms and strengths
  • loading and maintenance doses need to be prescribed separately
  • prescriptions are not to take the form of an order for a certain number of items, but instead order an amount of a drug or drugs at the generic (drug) level for a specific infusion/injection
  • the maximum amount listed in the Schedule (which replaces maximum quantity) refers to the upper limit in milligrams or other relevant unit of measure
  • prior approval from Medicare (Department of Human Services) is not needed for Authority Required (STREAMLINED) items (except where increased quantities and/or repeats are required). Instead the authority prescription form must include a four digit streamlined authority code
  • items that require an Authority continue to require an Authority from Medicare
  • related pharmaceutical benefits for public hospital use such as antiemetics, antinauseants, immunostimulants and detoxifying agents for antineoplastic treatment are not subject to these arrangements.

Further information

For more information about Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy and the Revised Arrangements see the Department of Health website or refer to your hospital pharmacy department.