Antiretroviral therapy for HIV can be expensive if paid for out of pocket. In Canada, there are a variety of federal, provincial, and private prescription drug plans that lower the cost of these lifesaving medications for people living with HIV, and in some cases, these plans result in cost-free access. However, many people living with HIV must contend with high deductibles for their antiretroviral therapies, and many experience difficulty managing the administrative requirements of their drug plans. This article comments on some of the results of a qualitative study into ethical issues in HIV care. Access to antiretrovirals was a theme that emerged in this study. We argue on ethical grounds that provincial drug plans should guarantee cost-free access to antiretroviral therapies for people living with HIV with minimal administrative requirements.
© 2016 The Canadian College of Health Leaders.