Changes to access to treatment for people with HIV in Australia who are ineligible for Medicare
September 27, 2022
The states and territory Departments of Health are still in the process of transitioning to the new government-funded treatment scheme. During this time, compassionate access schemes can continue to be utilised. As such, it is advised that provision of care, and access to medication, continue until further notice.
Outline of the government-funded treatment scheme
The states and territories are transitioning to a system whereby people with HIV or diagnosed with HIV living in Australia who are not eligible for Medicare are able to access their HIV medication free of charge through government-funded hospital pharmacies or other locations to be determined by State and Territory Departments of Health*. Compassionate access HIV treatment schemes are being phased out. The mechanisms by which this scheme will function are yet to be determined. As soon as concrete information is available this will be communicated by ASHM and the relevant Departments of Health.
*any additional care or medication costs associated with side effects from treatment will not be covered by this government-funded scheme.
Maintaining continuity of care is crucial. Please ensure that your patients are aware of these changes, have considered their options, and have a plan in place to transition their care if required.
Hospital pharmacies should maintain a record of all anti-retroviral medication dispensed to Medicare ineligible patients until they receive further instructions.
ASHM will continue to update the sector as new information comes to light. In the meantime, please direct any questions or concerns to ASHM at HIVPrescriber@ashm.org.au.