Closing the Gap—PBS Co-payment Measure
In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a $1.6 billion National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes to address the first of the COAG Closing the Gap (CTG) targets – to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
The CTG PBS Co-payment Measure will contribute to achieving this aim by improving access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with, or at risk of, chronic disease. The assistance will be available from 1 July 2010 and will be in the form of lower or nil patient co-payments for PBS medicines.
The measure is intended to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age
who present with an existing chronic disease or are at risk of chronic disease and in the opinion of the prescriber:
- would experience setbacks in the prevention or ongoing management of chronic disease if they did not take the prescribed medicine and
- are unlikely to adhere to their medicines regimen without assistance through the measure.
Eligible patients can be registered at either:
- general practices participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) or
- Indigenous Health Services (IHS) in urban and rural settings.
Once your patient is registered for the measure and you wish to grant the benefits of the measure to the patient, you will need to annotate the patient’s prescription to indicate that it is to be dispensed with co-payment relief. When your patient presents a correctly annotated prescription to a pharmacy, they will be supplied the medicine at the reduced rate.
Under the measure, general (non-concessional) patients presenting a ‘CTG’ prescription should be charged the current concessional rate for each PBS item on that prescription. Concessional patients presenting a ‘CTG’ prescription do not need to pay a patient co-payment for each PBS item on that prescription. However, mandatory charges such as any applicable brand premiums must still be paid by the patient or their agent.
If you do not annotate the prescription the patient will not receive the PBS co-payment relief at the pharmacy.
Call: 02 6289 2409* (CTG PBS Co-payment Measure)
*Call charges apply.
For information about prescribing visit PBS for prescribers.
.For information about the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes visit the Department of Health and Ageing website.
Last updated: 1 July, 2010