Patients will pay just the normal PBS co-payment for a prescription of these medicines – currently $6.30 for concessional patients and $38.80 for general patients. These co-payments are discounted by $1 at some community pharmacies, which could reduce the cost further to just $5.30 or $37.80 per prescription. Without subsidy, the high prices of these medicines would put them beyond the reach of most Australians.
In addition, Closing the Gap prescriptions are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age who present with, or at risk of, an existing chronic disease. That includes hepatitis C. This allows eligible non-concessional patients to be charged the concessional rate. Patients who are normally concessional do not need to pay a patient co-payment for each PBS item (although mandatory charges may still apply).
A range of medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C are available through the PBS. These medicines include:
The PBS listing for peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin (Pegasys RBV®) also allows its use in combination with sofosbuvir.
PBS-listed drugs are changing frequently so check the Australian Recommendations for the Management of Hepatitis C infection: a consensus statement (January 2017) for the lastest information.