Albion pharmacy provides a unique HIV specialised outpatient pharmacy service. The pharmacy dispenses a restricted range of medicines including antiretroviral therapy (ART) and antiviral therapy for Hepatitis C.

The pharmacy supplies medicines under the Highly Specialised Drugs Program of the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme). These medicines must be prescribed by an authorised prescriber; including authorised community prescribers such as accredited General Practitioners.

Medication counselling is provided to patients. In particular, if a patient is new to treatment or is switching treatments they should expect to receive counselling on the following:

How to take their medicine, i.e. the dose and when best to take their medicine in relation to food.

  • Potential adverse effects of medicines and ways of overcoming these.
  • Potential drug interactions with prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines or herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Strategies and tips on how to remember to take their medicines regularly to ensure it is working

Pharmacists are also available to review medicines and discuss any aspect of a patient’s medicine at any time; simply contact the pharmacy to make an appointment.

The Federal Government has announced that as of the 1st July 2015, antiretroviral medications will be available from community pharmacies as well as hospital pharmacies. This means you will be able to collect your medications from any pharmacy. This applies only to prescriptions written after 1st July 2015. Prescriptions written before 1st July 2015 can only be supplied through a hospital pharmacy such as The Albion Centre pharmacy.  These changes to the supply of HIV medicines now mean that patients will have more choice about where to collect and when to collect their medicines.

Enhanced Medication Access (EMA) Scheme

Albion pharmacy also operates the NSW EMA Scheme, which was established to improve access to ART for people living with HIV. The EMA scheme will be phased out from July 2015 due to the changes above.

If you are currently using the EMA scheme you should start considering what your options are to collect medicines after July 2015. If you plan to collect your medicines in person from your local pharmacy, we suggest that you introduce yourself to the pharmacist-in-charge and advise them what medications you are currently taking.  Ask the pharmacist what is the best way to order medication as not all pharmacies will keep this medication on their shelf.  As always, you can still collect your medications in person from hospital pharmacies, including here at The Albion Centre.

If you prefer to receive your medicines through a delivery system such as the EMA, you should discuss this with your local pharmacy to see if they offer a similar service.

If you have any questions relating to these new arrangements and/or you are currently receiving your medicine through the EMA scheme and have questions about how this will impact you, please contact us so that we can discuss your options with you.