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.
Patients make a small co-payment (when issuing their prescription and collecting their medications) for each item (drug) listed on their prescription.
From 1 January 2017, you pay up to $38.80 for most PBS medicines or $6.30 if you have a concession card. The Australian Government pays the remaining cost.
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 a three (3) drug combination of pills. These can be prescribed by your doctor as either 3 separate pills, or 3 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.
For further information about the PBS and Medicare eligibility visit NAPWHA’s website.
If you have any questions about HIV treatment, please call QPP’s Health Education Officer toll free from a land-line on 1800 636 241, use the contact form provided or call (07) 3013 5555 (nationally).