‘Close the Gap’ Medicine Correction

27 January, 2011


January 27, 2011

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) would like to issue a correction to a previous Network Message concerning the Commonwealth Government's Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.

NSWALC have received some conflicting information regarding the 'Close the Gap' Co-payment Measure which can now be clarified...

Under the 'CTG' arrangements, eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients are able to receive their medicines at a lower cost.

However these medicines are those available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or 'PBS' ONLY. Medicines outside the PBS are NOT covered by this arrangement as previously stated.

Eligible concessional and repatriation patients are not charged a co-payment (other than any mandatory charges such as brand premiums) and non-concessional patients are charged the concessional rate for each PBS item (plus mandatory charges).

All GPs and pharmacists have been informed of the arrangement, and all have a professional responsibility to dispense according to the new CTG PBS Measure guidelines.

The PBS Co-payment Measure pharmacy staff resource booklet and poster were sent to all pharmacies and are available for download from the Department of Health and Ageing website at:


A doctor (GP or Specialist) may hand annotate a computer-generated (printed) PBS prescription with CTG and initial or sign it, to signify that it is to be dispensed under the CTG arrangements.

Printed PBS prescriptions may have either an electronically-generated CTG code, or be hand annotated with 'CTG' by the doctor with their initial or signature.

For all CTG PBS Co-payment Measure queries, please call (02) 6289 2409, email pbs-indigenous@health.gov.au or visit www.health.gov.au/tackling-chronic-disease .


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.