Bricanyl (Terbutaline) is a short acting beta agonist or reliever inhaler suitable for use to relieve symptoms in asthma, bronchitis and other breathing problems. It is different from the more commonly known reliever – Salbutamol (Ventolin, Airomir and Asmol) in that Bricanyl is a dry powder inhaler. 

Bricanyl Turbuhaler is a Pharmacist-Only Medicine able to be purchased in pharmacy under Pharmacist supervision. It is also available on prescription. Astra Zeneca recently informed Asthma Australia that the PBS schedule around the availability of Bricanyl when prescribed has changed. This has implications for prescribers, dispensers and consumers.  

From November 1, 2019, people will only be dispensed a PBS-subsidised Bricanyl inhaler if they have a prescription from their doctor with an authority code. Pharmacies will only be able to dispense this medicine at a subsidised rate if the prescribing doctor acknowledges a number of prescribing criteria and applies an authority code to the prescription. For prescriptions written earlier than November 1, Bricanyl will be dispensed at a subsidised rate without requiring the new code.

Ideally, medical practice software will be updated automatically to inform prescribers of this change so they are ready to apply the authority code to prescriptions where they believe their patients will benefit and where their patients prefer this particular reliever device. On occasion, the timed software update does not happen promptly, so Asthma Australia encourages all people who have carried and effectively used Bricanyl as their preferred reliever inhaler to discuss this change with their doctor in order to continue to benefit from the subsidised price.

Bricanyl continues to be available over the counter and consumers will continue to pay full price for this.

Asthma Australia encourages all people with asthma to visit their doctor periodically to review their asthma.

If this matter raises any questions, don’t hesitate to call the 1800 ASTHMA and speak to an Asthma Educator.