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Massachusetts Prisons Change HIV Medicine Procedure

November 22, 2010

The Boston Globe: "Massachusetts prisons have changed how they dispense medication to inmates infected with HIV in a calculated effort to discourage them from taking life-saving drugs that cost the state millions of dollars a year, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit. The suit, which is expected to be filed today in US District Court in Boston, says the prison system and its medical provider removed HIV medication in February 2009 from the list of prescribed drugs that inmates have long been allowed to keep in their cells under the so-called Keep On Person program. ... As a result of the change, HIV-positive inmates who took their medicine in the privacy of their cells now must go to an infirmary 'ed line' daily, often several times a day, with scores of other inmates who receive single dosages of other medications, says the suit. ... lawyers for UMass Correctional Health, in response to a similar suit filed last year in state court and later withdrawn, wrote that the contractor made the change to improve adherence to HIV medication regimens" (Saltzman, 11/22).

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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.




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