The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch says it welcomes the announcement by the Queensland Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services, the Hon. Shannon Fentiman, confirming that the co-payment for all patients living with HIV in Queensland will be waived, allowing access to free HIV treatment.
Effective from October 3, the waiver applied to patients who live with HIV regardless of their Medicare status. Acting President for the Guild’s Queensland Branch, Rick Xynias, commends the Queensland Government for implementing this public health initiative.
“We have been working with the Queensland Government on this initiative and we are urging all community pharmacies to participate in the program so patients can be assured that when they visit their local community pharmacy, they will receive free treatment and not miss out on receiving this vital medication.”
Mr Xynias said waiving the co-payment will help those living with HIV by removing the cost barrier and improve access to the medication.
“Through the strong network of community pharmacies, patients living with HIV, regardless of their circumstances, will be able to access free HIV medication, which ultimately helps reduce the risk of HIV transmission in the community,” says Mr Xynias.
To submit the HIV co-payment waiver claims and receive reimbursement from Queensland Health, community pharmacies must use the Guild’s online claiming portal, available from 1 November, to accept registrations and claims.
Queensland Health is committed to the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 and supports the achievement of the UNAIDS HIV 95-95-95 targets which seek to ensure that:
- 95 per cent of HIV-positive people know their HIV status.
- 95 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status are on antiretroviral therapy.
- 95 per cent of people on antiretroviral therapy maintain an undetectable viral load to reduce onward transmission.