12.30-1.30pm, Wed 27th June 2018
Seminar Room 515, Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton
Associate Professor Amal Trivedi, Associate Professor of Health Services, Policies & Practice, Brown University
Although Indigenous Australians have twice the prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma, their spending on prescription drugs is about 60% that of non- indigenous Australians. Out-of-pocket costs are a well-established barrier to accessing effective medications to treat chronic disease. The 2010 Closing the Health Gap PBS Co-payment Measure reduced or eliminated co-payments for eligible Indigenous persons with chronic disease or risk factors for chronic disease. This quasi-experimental difference-in-differences study examined the four-year impact of this policy intervention. It was found that the policy led to substantial increases in the use of medications, particularly for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and marked reductions in out-of-pocket spending.