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ADAP Waiting Lists Nearly Eliminated, Kaiser Family Foundation, NASTAD Survey Says; Challenges Remain

April 9, 2008

The number of people on waiting lists to receive HIV/AIDS-related medications through AIDS Drug Assistance Programs dropped from 571 in March 2007 to three in March 2008, a survey of state and territorial ADAPs released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors says, CQ HealthBeat reports. The day before the report's release, Montana -- the only state with a waiting list -- added two more people for a total of five. In March 2007, there were four states with waiting lists (Grimaldi, CQ HealthBeat, 4/8).

ADAPs are federal- and state-funded programs that provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/17/07). According to a Kaiser Family Foundation and NASTAD joint release, ADAP waiting lists were nearly eliminated in 2007 because of a number of factors, including increased funding from states, as well as drug rebate programs and changes to the Ryan White Program.

The national ADAP budget in fiscal year 2007 was $1.4 billion. The ADAP client caseload increased to its highest level since the program started, with about 146,000 people in the U.S. enrolled in ADAP programs nationwide, the survey says. The survey also found that about two-thirds of the enrollees are minorities -- 33% black and 26% Hispanic -- and that more than four in 10 have incomes at or below 100% of the federal poverty level. Most ADAP clients are concentrated in states with the highest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS: California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania accounted for 51% of total enrollment in June 2007 (Kaiser Family Foundation/NASTAD release, 4/8).

Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation, said, "Given some of the things we're hearing, it's possible that some of the waiting lists could come back." Kates added that changes in HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration's supplemental awards and in Ryan White, as well as uncertain fiscal futures for states could detract from the recent progress (CQ HealthBeat, 4/8).

Online The report is available online.

A forum on the release of the results of the survey was webcast on Tuesday by The forum included remarks by Kaiser Family Foundation Executive Vice President Diane Rowland and NASTAD Executive Director Julie Scofield. Murray Penner, deputy executive director of domestic programs at NASTAD, and Kates presented the survey findings. A panel discussion followed, featuring Doug Morgan of HHS; Christine Olson of the South Dakota Department of Health; Noreen O'Donnell of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; and Ron Snell of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Video and a podcast of the forum are available online.

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