Discount medicine for Aboriginal people

Discount medicine for Aboriginal people

January 24, 2011

Chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, Bev Manton, has urged all Aboriginal patients to take full advantage for the Government's Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.

This package allows Aboriginal patients to obtain heavily discounted or free medicine if the letters 'CTG' are written by their GP only - on their prescriptions.

This agreement is valid for all prescriptions for ANY illness, treatment, ailment or disease.

Ms Manton said managing disease and illness is often very expensive and simply not an option for many Aboriginal people.

"This government package is designed to reduce the risk factors for chronic disease in Aboriginal communities, improve disease management and improve follow-up treatment.

"GPs can now hand-write the letters 'CTG' (Close the Gap) on prescriptions, this will then signify that it is to be dispensed under the arrangement," she said.

Aboriginal people suffer under the weight of chronic disease at a rate two and half times that of other Australians.

Some of these diseases are killers. They include amongst others:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory disease
  • Chronic kidney disease

"It's important to note that all pharmacists are compelled legally to comply with the CTG arrangements, and cannot adjudicate on individual patients," Chairwoman Manton said.

"We all know medicine is extremely expensive, and that's often the reason disease goes un-treated in many Aboriginal families.

"This has to stop.

"I can only hope that armed with this information, Aboriginal families will have access to the medicine they need, and enjoy a quality of life they deserve.

Closing the Gap: Indigenous Chronic Disease Package: ICDP@health.gov.au

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Munro 0438 760 242