The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - or PBS - is an Australian Government program that provides Australian citizens and eligible overseas visitors with subsidised prescription drugs where necessary. The scheme ensures that all Australians have access to affordable and ethical medical treatment. The scheme began in 1948 to provide free medicines to pensioners and comprised a list of 139 'life saving and disease preventing' medicines for others in the community.
When getting a prescription filled at the chemist the pharmacist may ask you if you want to purchase a cheaper generic brand. Many people are confused by this question and want to know “what is the difference”? Is the cheaper brand inferior to the more expensive brand? Generic brands of medication contain the same active ingredients in the same dosage; they are just produced by a different pharmaceutical company at a lower price. Unless your doctor specifies otherwise on a prescription, buying the generic brand will be just as effective as the branded product.