AIDS Action Calls on Congress to Halt Repeal of FASA, Drug Pricing Program
FASA could help relieve AIDS Drug Assistance Program crisis
June 17, 1997
AIDS Action urges members of Congress to resist industry-backed attempts to repeal the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA). Under FASA, AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), public hospitals, and state and local health departments could purchase life-saving drugs, including AIDS drug therapies, at discount rates. Over two weeks ago, AIDS Action and the National Association of Public Hospitals & Health Systems successfully averted repeal of the program which, once implemented, could relieve a $132 million budget shortfall faced by ADAPs nationwide. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry and the business lobby remain undeterred in their campaign to repeal FASA. At their insistence, an amendment to repeal FASA is expected to be offered tomorrow at mark-up of the fiscal year 1998 House Treasury/Postal appropriations bill.
AIDS Action urges members of Congress to take into account our nation's ADAP crisis when considering whether to support any attempt to repeal FASA. A severe budget shortfall has forced many states to limit their drug formularies or deny coverage for some people. In Mississippi, for example, 640 people with AIDS were dropped from ADAP earlier this month. Why repeal a law that might help these 640 individuals and hundreds more people with AIDS across the country?
AIDS Action has been fighting to add emergency funding for beleaguered ADAPs. Instead, we find ourselves fighting the repeal of a law, which might expand access to life-prolonging drugs for people with HIV and AIDS. Protecting the pharmaceutical companies' profits is not an emergency. Getting people with HIV and AIDS access to drugs that may save their lives is.
AIDS Action is the nation's foremost AIDS advocacy organization, representing all Americans affected by HIV and AIDS and over 1,400 community-based organizations that serve them.
For information, contact:
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.