25,000 consults per month lost to authority script 'time waste'

A survey of 1096 doctors conducted by the AMA found that 14% reported spending between 10–19 minutes per day seeking permission to prescribe authority medicines while a further 3% reported spending more than 30 minutes each day waiting for their phone calls to be answered.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said despite many medicines having been removed from the authority list in recent years there was no clinical or economic justification for the continuation of the system.

Doctors groups have long argued that the lack of data showing any increase in over-prescribing of medicines that have been removed from the list is evidence that doctors are able to prescribe the drugs safely and appropriately.

“The Productivity Commission has identified the PBS authority system as an unnecessary burden for GPs and has recommended it be removed,” Dr Hambleton said.

“For every hour that a family doctor is tied up doing paperwork,