AMT FAQs

For further information on the Australian Medicines Terminology, please see LEARN.

How often are the AMT updates released?

AMT is updated every month as part of the SNOMED CT-AU release to include changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, registered products from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and additional content requested by users.

I usually download the AMT-only RF2 release files but I can no longer find them. Where are they?

The AMT has been a formal subset of the SNOMED CT-AU RF2 release since November 2015. To assist AMT-only users during the transition to a combined release, a stand-alone AMT-only download was provided for several months. These files are not available from the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) portal. The SNOMED CT-AU RF2 Release Bundle (which incorporates AMT) should be used for downloads. This is accessed from the NCTS portal. If you require further assistance in accessing and downloading AMT files please complete the Support Request form or email the Help Centre.

Can I propose any changes or additions to the AMT?

Yes, we invite you to submit requests for new products, new synonyms and modification of existing content where you feel that it is incorrect.

The National Clinical Terminology Service provides a request submission facility which enables you to log your requests.

How can the AMT be used?

The AMT provides a standards-based foundation to support electronic medication management activities including prescribing, dispensing, administration and the recording of information. The AMT concept identifiers and descriptions can also be used to ensure the accurate exchange of medicines information with other systems (including the My Health Record system). For further details refer to the AMT Concept Model and Business Use Cases in the Document Library.

How do I map terms from existing systems that use different coding schemes?

Prior to commencing any mapping activity, it is vital to detail and understand how the data will be used. This will facilitate consistency in the mapping process, creating a reproducible map for the purpose intended. For guidance refer to the AMT Mapping Guidelines in the Document Library.

Which AMT concepts does the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) monthly data release contain?

The AMT identifier and Preferred Term description are included for the Medicinal Product (MP), the Medicinal Product Pack (MPP) and the Trade Product Pack (TPP) for PBS items; and the Medicinal Product Unit of Use (MPUU) and Trade Product Unit of Use (TPUU) for chemotherapy items.

Information for software providers on individual elements in the PBS XML Schema is under Element Documentation available from the developer’s section of the PBS web site: http://dev.pbs.gov.au/content/schema/current/doc/html/index.html

Does the AMT monthly release contain all the PBS items including new items?

The AMT monthly releases should contain all PBS items including medicines, chemotherapy items, bandages, dressings, nutritional supplements and diagnostic agents. However, differences between release timetables may result in items being listed in the PBS Schedule prior to their release as part of the AMT.

Do all AMT codes in the PBS data exactly match codes contained in the SNOMED CT-AU releases?

The PBS includes AMT concepts wherever possible however, the Department of Health may use their own identifiers where a PBS listing occurs before the release of AMT concepts, or use their own non-AMT term where the AMT concept does not meet PBS requirements. This may occur where the PBS description requires more or less detail than the associated AMT concept. For example, PBS data differentiates salts of metoprolol whereas the AMT Medicinal Product concept does not.

How can non-AMT identifiers be identified in the PBS data file?

Non-AMT identifiers can be identified in the PBS data by the SNOMED CT namespace identifier. This seven digit code issued by SNOMED International ensures that concept identifiers issued by different organisations are unique.

AMT concepts created by the NCTS use the namespace identifiers 1000036 (or 1000168), as seen in the identifier: 21664011000036103.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Division (PBD) created concepts use the namespace identifier 1000144, as seen in the identifier: 57291000144108.

Further information on SNOMED CT Namespace Identifiers can be found in LEARN.

Will the non-AMT codes provided in the PBS data release be updated to AMT codes?

Interim PBS non-AMT identifiers will be replaced by AMT identifiers when available. When this change occurs (for example to replace a non-AMT identifier with an AMT identifier), the PBS XML will include a change element to provide notification of that change. However, there will always be instances where a non-AMT identifier remains. Refer to ‘Do all AMT codes in the PBS data exactly match codes contained in the NCTS AMT releases?’ in this section.

How does the PBS Code align to an AMT code?

Each PBS Code in combination with the Manufacturer Code identifies a specific brand of medicinal product at the pack size level. This is mapped to the appropriate AMT Trade Product Pack (TPP) concept. If you require further assistance please contact the Help Centre.

Is it necessary to implement the AMT model to determine all the relationships that exist between PBS medicines?

Ideally, use of AMT information from PBS data should be linked to a full implementation of the AMT model and associated data. This ensures that the AMT information from the PBS data can be viewed in the correct context. It may also allow PBS details to be imported into a clinical application more easily. If you require further assistance please contact the Help Centre.

Where can I get more information on the AMT in the PBS?

Information on The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits is available from http://pbs.gov.au/pbs. This website also provides associated information regarding the PBS, including information targeted at different stakeholder groups such as the public, health professionals and industry. Information for software developers is available from the PBS Software Developers developer’s section of the website. For access please contact pbs@health.gov.au.