Treatment for HIV is available throughout Australia at highly subsidised costs for holders of Australian Medicare Cards, through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Patients make a small co-payment when issuing their prescription and collecting their medications for each drug listed on their prescription.
From 1 January 2015, you pay up to $37.70 for most PBS medicines or $6.10 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 is usually comprised of a 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.