North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) welcomes the announcement that anti-HIV drug tenofovir with emtricitabine will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 April 2018.
The Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the listing today, which will cut the cost of the drug from $2,496 per year down to $39.50 per prescription. When used as directed, tenofovir with emtricitabine is up to 99 per cent effective in preventing transmission of HIV.
The Federal Government also announced it will provide $1.2 million over five years for education and awareness activities for both prescribers and affected communities.
NWMPHN CEO Adjunct Associate Professor Christopher Carter said the listing was a huge step towards the goal of ending HIV transmission in Australia.
“We now have a real opportunity to make HIV a thing of the past,” A/Prof Carter said. “The next step is to make sure these drugs are accessible by the people who need them.
“We will be looking to step up training and education through the Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning (VHHITAL) program to support all GPs to confidently prescribe these potentially life-saving drugs.”