PrEP on the PBS
Since 1 April 2018, PrEP has been available through the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme). If you are an Australian resident with a Medicare card you can access PrEP at a subsidised cost, by just paying a PBS co-payment. If you don’t have a Medicare card, personal importation can be an option for you.
The general PBS co-payment is $40.30 per script (30 pills). If you have a concession card (such as a Health Care Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Pensioner Concession Card) it is $6.50 per script. Community pharmacies are legally allowed to discount the cost of a prescription by up to $1, though this is a decision made by each pharmacy.
Once you get your script for PrEP through the PBS, you can pick it up at any community pharmacy (some pharmacies may need to order it, which may take a few days).
There are several products that can be supplied for PrEP through the PBS. These can be different colours and sizes, and in slightly different formulations of the same drugs, but they all work the same way to prevent HIV.
This PrEP Fact Sheet (English) provides more information about what subsidised access to PrEP through the PBS means. The factsheet is also available in Plain English, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian.
You can also legally import PrEP for your personal use from overseas online pharmacies. You’ll still need a script from your doctor to be able to order it online (a nurse practitioner will not be able to prescribe PrEP if it is not accessed through the PBS).
Personal importation is also an option for people who don’t have a Medicare card and are unable to access PrEP through the PBS.
Each time you need to order, make sure you plan ahead to make sure you get your next scripts from your doctor, place your order and allow for shipping to receive your PrEP in time.
There are various online pharmacies that supply different products for PrEP at a range of costs. If you are buying PrEP online, make sure you are buying a product with any one of these formulations – these all work the same way to prevent HIV:
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate 300mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Maleate 300mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
- Tenofovir Disoproxil Phosphate 291mg and Emtricitabine 200mg
Products with variations of these formulations, only one of these ingredients, or formulations with additional ingredients are not suitable for PrEP.
For information on where to purchase PrEP for personal importation, you can go to: