How Much Does Treatment Cost?

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Treatment for HIV is available throughout Australia at highly subsidised costs for holders of Australian Medicare Cards, through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – which is a scheme of the Australian Government which is said to create affordable medicines for all Australians, for their health-care needs.

In Queensland, people living with HIV make a small co-payment (when issuing their prescription and collecting their medications) for each item (drug) listed on their prescription.

From 1 January 2022, you pay up to $42.50 for most PBS medicines or $6.80 if you have a concession card. The Australian Government pays the remaining cost.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, and struggling to pay for your medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or the team at QPP, as we can assist with our Emergency Treatment Fund.

The amount of co-payment is adjusted on 1 January each year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

A Safety Net also applies for Individuals and families, which reduces the annual cost of medicines when co-payments reach a certain threshold.  For more information on the PBS visit their website. Specific costs and Safety Net Thresholds can be found here.

The PBS covers all health conditions (not just HIV) for medicines which are approved in Australia and listed on the PBS.  All highly specialised HIV anti-retroviral drugs are listed on the PBS, along with other general medicines for other health conditions as well.

HIV treatment usually comprises of two or three drug combination.  These can be prescribed by your doctor as either separate pills, or all drugs combined into one single pill, or sometimes 2 drugs in one single pill plus another pill – depending upon your particular prescribing needs as recommended by your doctor.

If you don’t have Medicare in Australia, you can find the latest information about the PBS and Medicare eligibility at our page about access to treatment without medicare.

Accessing Treatment Without Medicare

It is possible for anyone in Australia to access HIV treatment without medicare, in many cases for free.

Where Can I Get Treatment?

People living with HIV can get their HIV medication from their local pharmacy, an online pharmacy or a hospital-based pharmacy, whatever suits them better.

When Should I Start Treatment?

It is important to discuss all the benefits and risks to starting treatment, and your personal readiness to start treatment with your doctor. Today, most people are recommended to start treatment once a diagnosis is confirmed.

Drug Resistance & Adherence

HIV drug resistance is caused by changes in the genetic structure of HIV that affect the ability of medicines to work effectively.  Ensuring you are as consistent with your regime as possible reduces this possibility.

Side Effects & Changing Treatment

Modern HIV drugs tend to have minimal side-effects but some side effects can still occur. This is why all changes to your treatment should always be in consultation with your HIV doctor.

Our trained team is here to help you should you have any questions or need support. You can contact QPP toll free from a Queensland land-line on 1800 636 241 or (07) 3013 5555 nationally, email us at info@qpp.org.au or use our contact us form.

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