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Medicare ineligibles

Unfortunately, there are many people legally living in Australia who do not qualify for access to Medicare or the PBS[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs. – known as ‘Medicare ineligibles’. Many overseas students fall into this category; as do many people who are here on working visas and the partners of Australian residents who are waiting for a decision to be made about their own permanent residency.

NAPWA believes everyone should be able to access HIV treatments, regardless of their citizenship or residency status. We are advocating to the Australian government for reform in this area.

Key resources

Medicare card

This fact sheet explains the eligibility requirements for accessing subsidised HIV treatments in Australia under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs., and provides useful information for people who do not qualify.

The Australian HIV Observational Database Temporary Residents Access Study (ATRAS)

Report • Laurie Legere, Kirby Institute • 3 April 2014

Researchers from the Kirby Institute and the National Association of People with HIV Australia(NAPWHA) have released results from the first study in Australia to collect information on HIV positive patients who are not eligible for Medicare. read more »

Online drugs on hold

Story • Christopher Kelly • 13 March 2014
Treating HIV

Outbound medical shipments from India, including HIV drugs bound for Australia, have been disrupted. The disruption coincides with a visit to India in February by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDAThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness(Of a drug or treatment). The maximum ability of a drug or treatment to produce a result regardless of dosage. A drug passes efficacy trials if it is effective at the dose tested and against the illness for which it is prescribed. In the standard procedure, Phase II clinical trials gauge efficacy, and Phase III trials confirm it. of all drugs, biologics, vaccines, and medical devices, including those used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The FDA also works with the blood banking industry to safeguard the nation's blood supply. The Australian equivalent is the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA[Therapeutic Goods Administration] The federal government body that approves drugs and treatments before they can be prescribed.).) commissioner, Margaret Hamburg. According to advice from AIDS Drugs Online.net (ADO) order fulfilment across the entire country has been interrupted, affecting Medicare Ineligibles in Australia accessing generic HIV medication. read more »

Medicare Ineligibles Access Study starting in October

Positive Living article • Graham Stocks • 1 September 2011

One hundred and eighty HIV positive people who do not have access to subsidised antiretroviralA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. drugs on the PBS[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs.] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs. will soon receive free treatment over 48 months, when a long anticipated study commences recruitment in early October. read more »

Medicare Ineligibles Access Study on its way

Positive Living article • Adrian Ogier • 3 March 2011

Agreements are currently being finalised between NAPWHA, the National Centre in HIV EpidemiologyThe branch of medical science that deals with the study of incidence and distribution and control of a disease in a population. and ClinicalPertaining to or founded on observation and treatment of participants, as distinguished from theoretical or basic science. Research (NCHECRNational Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research. Based at the University of NSW in Sydney, NCHECR is one of Australia's leading medical research centres and is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of research into HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. ) and the seven pharmaceutical companies who supply ARVA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. in Australia.

When complete, a national access study will provide antiretroviral therapy to HIV positive people who are legally resident in Australia but ineligible for Medicare access to ARV drugs. read more »

Simple guide to HIV treatment and care for non-nationals

Story • Adrian Ogier • 11 January 2011

In association with the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHMAustralasian Society for HIV Medicine. The peak Australasian organisation representing the medical and health sector in HIV/AIDS and related areas. ), NAPWHA has developed a simple step-by-step guide for overseas visitors and new residents living with HIV. read more »

Tales from the network

Positive Living article • Cipri Martinez • 2 December 2010

There is a Network of Workers located at AIDS Councils and PLHIVPerson (or people) Living with HIV. This term is now preferred over the older PLWHAPerson (or People) Living with HIV/AIDS.. Organisations around Australia, who understand the variety of treatment issues faced by positive people. We call them the Treataware Outreach Network (TON).

As an HIV positive peer support worker, Cipri Martinez sees a variety of people with a lot of different issues. And being able to help them out, he says, is what makes his job worthwhile. read more »

Simple guide to HIV treatment and care for non-nationals

Positive Living article • Adrian Ogier • 11 June 2010

In association with the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHMAustralasian Society for HIV Medicine. The peak Australasian organisation representing the medical and health sector in HIV/AIDS and related areas. ), NAPWHA has developed a simple step-by-step guide for overseas visitors and new residents living with HIV. read more »

If you are thinking about visiting Australia

Can I come to Australia if I am HIV-positive? What steps do I need to take to stay on my HIV treatments and access medical treatment in Australia if I need it? read more »

How to access HIV antiretroviral treatment and care in Australia

Resource • 1 May 2010

This fact sheet explains the eligibility requirements for accessing subsidised HIV treatments in Australia under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs., and provides useful information for people who do not qualify. read more »

Submission to Inquiry into the Migration Treatment of Disability

Submission • Peter Canavan • 12 March 2010

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, have asked the Joint Standing Committee on Migration to undertake an inquiry relating to the health requirement in the Migration Act. NAPWHA has made a Submission to this enquiry. read more »

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