ACON has welcomed the removal of the co-payment for HIV medication from 1 October 2015, making access to treatment easier for people with HIV. The Baird Government has delivered on this pre-election commitment.
Over many years, cost has been identified as a possible barrier for some in our community who bear a financial burden when accessing Highly Specialised Drugs to treat chronic conditions such as cancer and HIV. ACON has long advocated for treatment to be made as accessible as possible – which also means as affordable as possible.
Karen Price, Acting CEO, said, “The NSW Government – and particularly the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner – has shown outstanding leadership when it comes to HIV. The goals and targets in the NSW Strategy are leading the way nationally, and the decision to remove the co-payment for HIV medication is another example of how this Government has demonstrated it will do what it takes to drive down HIV transmissions in the State.”
“We know that in addition to the co-payment for anti-retroviral drugs for HIV, often people living longer with HIV will also require other prescriptions and thus, the co-payments can add up to a significant cost. This decision will remove what can be a significant financial burden on many people living with HIV. There’s no cure for HIV so treatment costs are for life and can add up to many hundreds of dollars annually”, Ms Price said.
“For those people with HIV living on a disability support pension or other concessional card holders this will be especially welcome news.
ACON’s recent campaign focussed on the latest evidence showing that starting HIV treatment early can not only improve the health of people with HIV, but that treatment can also greatly reduce HIV transmission risk. For more about ACON’s ‘Undetectable’ campaign, visit: http://endinghiv.org.au/nsw/treat-early/undectable/ or watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=FwtgRdibDYU
“In recent months ACON has launched campaigns about the importance of early treatment and we are excited that the removal of the co-payment will facilitate greater access.”
For more information about how the removal of the co-payment will work in practice, visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/Pages/s100-copayments.aspx .
Media contact: Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media and Communication Officer
T: (02) 9206 2044 E: email@example.com M: 0419 55 768