From the late 1980s through to the mid-2000s, HIV section 100 (s100) Highly Specialised Drugs HIV medications in NSW were only accessible through public hospital pharmacies. From 1 July 2015, people living with HIV have had the choice to collect our s100 HIV medications from a hospital pharmacy, a local community pharmacy (chemist), or to order from an online pharmacy and have them posted directly to us in NSW. By 1 October 2015, the NSW government introduced the s100 HIV medication co-payment waiver initiative for s100 HIV medications in NSW. This meant we were no longer required to pay a co-payment for our HIV medications. This initiative removed a significant barrier to all people living with HIV who needed to access s100 HIV medication.
Five years later, the NSW Ministry of Health sought to understand the best way to continue the administration of the co-payment waiver initiative into the future. In October 2020, Positive Life NSW (Positive Life) consulted with all people living with HIV in NSW about our experiences of the co-payment waiver.
This report describes respondents’ experiences of the NSW HIV medication co-payment waiver including access, prescribers, collection, and experiences with ordering prescriptions online. There is discussion of respondents’ preferences when choosing a pharmacy and about the respondents’ main sources of support to manage their health. The report discusses respondents’ reported awareness of the NSW co-payment waiver, including their stated privacy concerns and associated issues.
Lastly, respondents’ responses regarding managing paperwork such as the s100 Patient Consent Form and the PBS Safety Net threshold is discussed. Positive Life has offered some recommendations regarding the continuation of the NSW s100 HIV medication co-payment initiative, and options to improve the co-payment initiative in the future.
Community Report:s100 HIV antiretroviral NSW co-payment waiver initiative