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Colorado Provides Additional $3 Million to State AIDS Drug Assistance Program to Cover Patients on Waiting List

July 20, 2004

Colorado officials have given the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program approximately $3 million to cover the 315 people currently on a waiting list for treatment, the Denver Post reports (Auge, Denver Post, 7/16). Colorado's ADAP, which is funded with state and federal money, since April was among 13 states nationwide that had implemented cost-containment measures, according to a report released in May by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the AIDS Treatment Data Network. It also provided only 18 drugs under its coverage program -- the lowest among all ADAP programs in the United States; did not provide any of the 14 drugs highly recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service/Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines to prevent opportunistic infections; and had a net decrease in its ADAP budget (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/20). The additional $3 million, which is enough to provide drugs for all of the people on the waiting list, is a one-time contribution drawn from the state's tobacco settlement money, according to Colorado ADAP Director Scott Barnette. In addition, the state will use the funding to increase the number of medications covered under ADAP. State legislators will revisit the funding issue next year, Barnette said (Associated Press, 7/16). One thousand patients will be covered under Colorado's ADAP when everyone on the waiting list begins to receive medications, according to Barnette. He added that 20 to 25 people apply monthly for the program because of increases in unemployment and loss of health insurance (Denver Post, 7/16).

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