From 1 July 2015, people living with HIV will be able to access their HIV medications from community pharmacists (chemists), providing greater flexibility and convenience. People living with HIV can also choose to remain with their existing hospital pharmacy.
People living with HIV can approach any community pharmacy with a request to fill a prescription for HIV medication written on or after 1 July 2015. HIV medications are specialised and costly to hold in stock, so not all pharmacists are likely to keep stock on the shelf. It is recommended that people call or visit their pharmacy of choice to ask how much notice they will need to order supplies of HIV medications.
Given the extended trading hours and greater accessibility that community pharmacies offer, the move has been welcomed by HIV organisations.
Queensland Positive People Executive officer Simon O’Connor says it is a pleasing development but encouraged people living with HIV to make enquiries with their local pharmacy.
‘We welcome community dispensing of HIV medications,” Mr O’Connor said. “This change will provide PLHIV with a choice of where they can access their HIV medications and will improve convenience and access to treatment for many PLHIV.
“We encourage PLHIV to make enquiries with their local pharmacy to establish whether or not the pharmacy would be willing to dispense HIV medications. If there are any concerns about confidentiality, PLHIV can request a confidential conversation with their community pharmacist about dispensing of HIV medications.”