Department of Health & Ageing Response to Morgan’s Enquiries about Testosterone for Intersex

Department of Health & Ageing responded to Morgan Carpenter’s enquiries about Testosterone for intersex men.

Department of Health & Ageing, reply to Morgan, page 1.

Department of Health and Ageing

Mr Morgan [surname removed]

Dear Mr [surname removed]

Thank you for your email of 15 August 2009 to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, concerning testosterone transdermal gel. The Minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.

The Minister and I are sorry to learn that accessing the medicine required for on-going treatment of your medical condition has at times presented some difficulties for you.

My previous letter of 14 July 2009 responds to many of the issues raised in your email of 15 August 2009. That advice is still current and I note that you have accessed additional information on various aspects from the references provided. I also note that in early July you discussed the regulatory requirements for testosterone in Australia with an officer of the department.

There are certain access, supply and travel requirements pertaining to testosterone transdermal gel. Some reflect usual Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) requirements, some are more specific to the supply of this class of medicine under state legislation, or to import and export controls under Customs legislation.

It is important that the PBS provides mechanisms for affordable access to pharmaceutical services and medicines that are clinically appropriate, efficient and convenient for the people requiring them. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommends to the Government which medicines should be listed on the PBS, the uses for which they should be subsidised and any restrictions that should apply. The PBAC considers the maximum quantity and number of repeats that can be prescribed on a PBS prescription taking into account the need for clinical review of the condition. Authority required items, such as testosterone gel, are subject to pre-approval for PBS prescribing to ensure that supply under the PBS is limited to use in specific medical conditions.

Other regulatory controls regarding supply, access and custody of testosterone reflect action to balance the need for appropriate access for legitimate medical use against the risk of diversion and misuse.

Australia has reciprocal health care arrangements with the United Kingdom and Ireland which provide access to some medical services for eligible Australian travellers. More information is available at:

The relevant health authority may be able to provide advice regarding any entitlements for access to your medication whilst overseas.

Thank you again for your comments, I trust the information provided is useful.

Yours sincerely
Linda Jackson
Assistant Secretary Pharmaceutical Evaluation Branch Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

9 November 2009

GPO Box 9848 Canberra ACT 2601 Telephone: (02) 62891555 Fax: (02) 6289 8633

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