In October 2020, NSW Health and Positive Life developed a survey tool to inform a project by NSW Health to understand the best way to continue to administer the NSW co-payment initiative for s100 HIV antiretroviral medication into the future.
The survey sought to:
- Assess the awareness and use of the NSW co-payment initiative;
- Understand the variation and choice for the collection of prescribed s100 HIV antiretroviral medication; and
- Gain knowledge about community satisfaction for the initiative.
180 people living with HIV in NSW responded to the survey.
The majority (96.7%, n=174) of respondents reported collecting their own HIV antiretroviral medicines. 32.8% of survey respondents indicated their HIV antiretroviral medication was prescribed from ‘a doctor at a sexual health clinic’; followed by 22.8% by ‘my GP’; 20% by an ‘s100 prescriber GP’; 12.2% by ‘a clinician at a Public Hospital’; and 11.7% by ‘a Specialist’. None of the respondents reported a nurse practitioner prescribed their antiretroviral treatment.
Half of the respondents reported they obtained their antiretroviral medication from their local chemist or pharmacy, while 42.2% said they accessed antiretroviral medication from ‘a public hospital pharmacy’.
69.4% of people reported they used ‘Convenience (e.g. location, familiarity with pharmacist)’ as the most common guide to choosing a pharmacy, followed by ‘trust and reputation’, ‘speed and availability of dispensing medication’, and ‘privacy’. 61% of respondents indicated they rely on healthcare providers as their main source of support to manage their health.
Respondents reported first hearing about the co-payment initiative through a number of different sources. 19.7% said they heard about the co-payment waiver from an ‘s100 Prescriber GP’. 17.7% said they heard about it from ‘Positive Life NSW’; 15.6% of respondents said they heard about it from a ‘GP’; while 13.6% said they heard about it from a ‘Public Hospital Prescriber (Doctor)’.
Only 31 of respondents reported ever having had issues accessing the s100 co-payment initiative for their HIV antiretroviral medication. 111 respondents agreed that the s100 co-payment initiative makes it more likely they will be able to access their HIV medication.
67.6% of respondents reported their experience as satisfied or very satisfied when filling out their prescription and accessing the co-payment initiative. 65 respondents said the main reason for their satisfaction was due to the ‘easy, smooth and simple process’; 30 respondents indicated it was ‘a good relationship with pharmacist who is knowledgeable, respectful and aware of process’; and 25 respondents indicated they felt ‘grateful it is free as the co-payment waiver helps financially’.
In total, only 11 respondents were currently paying the PSB co-payment for their HIV antiretroviral medication.
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