Arizona: AIDS Medication Program Cuts List of Covered Drugs
June 15, 2009
The state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) has slashed the list of drugs it pays for from seven to three pages, leaving many low-income recipients to cover the cost of medications that help with side effects of the disease. Critical drugs -- antiretrovirals and those for opportunistic infections -- will not be affected, health officials stressed.
Key to Arizona's reduced allocation was the fact that twice as many states this year applied for federal AIDS drug funding. ADAP, known as a "payer of last resort," covers patients who are not eligible for state Medicaid.
Notification about the change has gone out to 1,117 patients and 201 providers. "There has been a cut in funding, an increase in cost of services, and an increase in enrollment of new clients," it states. "Because we have so many new clients, we need to make sure we have enough money for everyone to get their HIV [antiretroviral/opportunistic infection] medications."
Wendell Hicks, executive director of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, said his group will work with ADAP patients to help them procure the medicines they need. "These medications are expensive," he noted. "This is going to impact the whole community, but we will do our best to connect patients to resources while available."
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
06.11.2009; Stephanie Innes
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