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Will hiv medicine costs drop and how can we help to bring them down...
Jul 19, 2003

Dear Dr. Wohl,

As it has been become quite clear that many individuals who are hiv infected cannot actually afford hiv treatment.

I have a couple of questions and would appreciate if you could point me out in the right direction. Thank you very much it is appreciated.

In the United States, im referring to for these questions, thank you very much.

(1) What insurances will pay for hiv medicines and how do you find this out? Will HMO, POS pay this, how do you find out? Is it getting better and are more insurances now forced to cover hiv medicines or no? How can we change this.

(2) How is possible that in countries as Brazil, infected individuals recieve treatment and here people die because they can't afford treatment. Is there a way we can bring this to attention of the U.S. government.

(3) Are insurance agencies and pharmaceuticals (please be honest) making the situation worse of better for those who can't afford medicines.

What is the best thing for us to do? Please point us in the right direction.

Thanks.

Edmund

Response from Dr. Wohl

Dear Edmund-

The path to getting access to HIV care starts close to home. You need to link up with people whose job it is to connect HIV medications and care with those who require them. In many states this will be a social worker or case manager at an HIV focused clinic. Any large HIV clinic will have such staff who can answer specific questions regarding private insurance.

For those without private insurance, states have AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) that are supposed to provide medications to those who are poor. These programs have variable entry requirements and funds available but for those who do are qualify are great.

The drug companies do offer support programs in which they provide medications for free to those who can not qualify for ADAP or other coverage but who meet financial criteria. This is great. Providing meds at a lower cost would be better.

It is no secret that many people in the US can not afford basic health care. It is a major issue that is talked about often but for which no remedy is provided. I hope you have been writing and calling your national and state elected officials to tell them that as a constituent you are suffering and need their help.

For more info check out:

http://aids.about.com/blhotline.htm

Also, call your local AIDS Service Organization (search the web, ask around). DW



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