If you take HIV medications, they are free from 1 October 2015. This applies to all NSW residents regardless of whether you get HIV medicines dispensed from a hospital pharmacy or a community pharmacy (chemist).

Before then, when you’ve had medications dispensed, you will have paid a co-payment of $37.70 or a concessional co-payment of $6.10 for each HIV medicine prescribed. From 1 October you have not had to make this co-payment for HIV medicines.

Positive Life advocated for cheaper HIV treatment and we welcome the NSW Government’s announcement. Free HIV medicines are a win for people living with HIV and will make it easier for some people to start HIV treatment and stay on treatment.

There are a few things you will need to do before your medications will be free:

Step 1
Make an appointment to see the doctor who prescribes your medications.

Step 2
Ask your doctor for a new prescription for your HIV medications.

Step 3
Your doctor will give you a patient consent form which is required for the co-payment to be waived. Ensure your doctor completes and signs the form and gives it to you to sign as well. You will need a separate consent form for each HV medication you are prescribed. Click here to download a copy of the Patient Consent Form here.

Step 4
Attach the form signed by both you and your doctor to each of your prescriptions.

Step 5
Take your prescriptions to either a community or a hospital pharmacy and have them dispensed. You will not be charged the co-payment and your medications will be free. Make sure the patient consent form remains attached to your prescription. You will need the form again when you next have your prescription repeats filled.

Step 6
Each time your doctor writes a new HIV prescription, make sure you and your doctor complete and sign a new patient consent form and that you attach the form to your prescriptions.

Not all of the medications you might be prescribed will be free. Only HIV medications and some other drugs funded by the Federal Government under its Highly Specialised Drugs Program are included in the co-payment waiver. You might have heard these medications referred to as “Section 100” medications.

If your patient consent form is not with your prescription when you go to the chemist to have it filled you will be required to pay the co-payment.