NSW Govt. scraps co-pays for S100 meds

Source: PharmaDispatch;  September 29, 2015

The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed confirmation from the NSW Government that PBS co-payments for Section 100 drugs will be scrapped for the State's residents on Thursday (1 October).

Under the policy announced in the state election earlier this year, the NSW Government will cover co- payments for public hospital patients receiving Section 100 (s100) Highly Specialised Drugs and Section 100 injectable and infusible chemotherapy medicines.

NSW Health Minister Gillian Skinner said the co-payment will be paid for eligible patients regardless of whether prescriptions are dispensed at NSW public hospital pharmacies, NSW community pharmacies or through pharmacies used by NSW public hospital oncology clinics.

The Minister said the change will save patients an average $1,400 every year.

“We are delivering on our election commitment to people living with complex illnesses, who are suffering enough without the stress of having to fork out for essential but expensive medication,” said Mrs Skinner. “This change will benefit many people living with cancer and HIV, patients with organ and tissue transplants, schizophrenia, hepatitis, Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis.”

In welcoming the change, the Pharmacy Guild's NSW Branch confirmed co-payments will also be scrapped for HIV antiretroviral therapy, Hepatitis B medicines and clozapine.

In June, the Federal Department of Health announced that medicines to treat hepatitis B, HIV, and clozapine for maintenance therapy in the treatment of schizophrenia, would be available from any community pharmacy.

The medicines were previously available to be dispensed from a limited number of sources, such as hospitals or specialist clinics.

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