California: AIDS Advocates Lobby for ADAP Funding
April 17, 2003
AIDS advocates and people with HIV will descend on Sacramento April 21 to lobby lawmakers to drop a proposed co-payment requirement and support an alternative proposal for funding the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The effort is organized by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's HIV Advocacy Network, which hopes to bus more than 200 people from the Bay Area to the capital. On the same day, both the Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees will be holding hearings on ADAP.Adapted from:
Amid a projected $35 billion state deficit, Gov. Gray Davis's proposed fiscal 2003-2004 budget fails to provide a $25 million increase needed by ADAP to meet growing demand and increasing drug prices. The state expects to spend $60 million on ADAP next year, with the entire program costing more than $186 million. Davis budgeted an additional $9.5 million for ADAP over last year, with $2.3 million of that coming from ADAP drug rebates. ADAP clients would pay $7.2 million in prescription co-payments ranging from $30 to $50 per prescription, depending on income level.
Advocates are pushing a proposal to raise the $25 million without requiring co-payments. "If we take some money from other areas of the HIV and AIDS budget, we can move it into ADAP," said Dana Van Gorder, SFAF's director of state and local affairs. Advocates propose that $8 million for ADAP be cut from other programs, though Van Gorder did not specify which programs would be cut. Another $4 million would come from additional federal ADAP funds. Drug price negotiations under way with pharmaceutical companies could net another $5 million. Advocates are also projecting $5.5 million from drug rebates. The remaining $3 million may be found in new restrictions requiring prior authorization for prescribing Serostim, a human growth hormone sometimes abused by bodybuilders. Officials predict this restriction will save the state $7.5 million a year.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
04.10.03; Matthew S. Bajko