Alabama: State May Get Funds to Help AIDS Patients Get Medicines
June 29, 2004
Last week, President Bush announced that $20 million would be distributed to states whose AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) have waiting lists. The new money could help clear Alabama's list of those waiting for HIV drugs.Adapted from:
Alabama ADAP officials said the state has 1,229 people enrolled in the program; 353 are on the waiting list. State AIDS Director Jane Cheeks said ADAP costs about $10,500 per person annually, which means Alabama needs about $3.5 million to clear its waiting list.
Program officials said they were still waiting for official documentation to guarantee the state gets all the funds necessary to clear the list. "If we can get an unexpected infusion of federal dollars we could use to place all of those people on drugs, then that is wonderful," said Dr. Charles Woernle, assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention. Woernle said most people on the waiting list had been getting free medication from pharmaceutical companies under "compassionate use" programs, but "that's tedious and complicated. It's more efficient if you have a direct pipeline to get folks the drugs that they need."
Cheeks said clearing the lists would free up medicine and resources for the roughly 30 new patients who apply to the program each month. Alabama ADAP is partly funded with $9 million from the Ryan White CARE Act. State funds were cut by the Alabama legislature from $2.9 million to $1.9 million for the fiscal year that began in April, according to Cheeks. Until then, all who were in the program and in line were able to get medication; since the budget cut, some new applicants have gone without.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.