California: Brown's Budget Would Hit People With AIDS
January 21, 2011
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget for fiscal 2011-12 could increase clients' share of costs in the state AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Proposed ADAP funding for the period is $518.5 million -- $163.8 million of it from the state's general fund.
Under Brown's proposal, ADAP would increase clients' out-of-pocket costs up to a maximum of 5 percent of gross income. "It can stop [people] from picking up their medications," said Anne Donnelly, director of health care policy at Project Inform, noting the move would save the state an estimated $16.8 million in general fund net savings.
The California Department of Public Health is evaluating "the fiscal impact of different options including co-pays and a monthly premium system," said Matt Conens, the agency's spokesperson.
"One of the largest drivers of ADAP's annual cost increases is the continuous increases in drug pricing," Conens said. Federal law enables ADAP "to bill manufacturers for rebates when ADAP pays any part of a prescription, including co-pays and co-insurance," he said. "Without the ability to collect these full manufacturer rebates, ADAP will no longer be viable. Thus it is critical that we maintain these clients in ADAP."
Brown's proposal would also require co-payments in Medi-Cal, saving an estimated $294.4 million. Prescriptions would be limited to six per month, excluding life-saving drugs, saving $11.1 million.
"We know this is going to be difficult and painful across the board, but certainly I and our LGBT legislative caucus will be very vigilant" in supporting ADAP and HIV/AIDS issues, said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), chair of the Senate budget and fiscal review committee. "We need to have pharmaceutical companies, for example, provide appropriate rebates to the state for ADAP," he said.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
01.13.2011; Seth Hemmelgarn
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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