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Funding Crisis for the
AIDS Drug Assistance Program

By John S. James
AIDS Treatment News

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is running out of money in increasing numbers of states; already hundreds of people who cannot pay for drugs through insurance or out of pocket are not getting the medicines they need.

The ADAP Working Group is an industry-activist coalition to seek funding for this program, which is administered separately by each state. On September 20 the Glaxo Wellcome representative to the ADAP Working Group circulated the following talking points -- facts about ADAP as of September 2001 -- to use for supporting this program, in Congress or elsewhere:

  • The AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), funded primarily under Title II of the Ryan White Care Act, are in trouble across the nation.

  • ADAP programs around the country provide needed medications to treat HIV disease to low-income and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Last year, a $130 million increase was requested to fund ADAP programs in fiscal year 2001. Congress appropriated only $61 million for a total funding level of $589 million in federal funding for fiscal year 2001, approximately $87 million less than needed.

  • We are now seeing the impact of this shortage on states, particularly in the South. Nine state ADAPs have already closed [to new patients] including: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, and South Dakota.

  • Prior to the end of this fiscal year, 7 more states may cap enrollment or institute other program restrictions including: Idaho, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
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  • Currently, there are over 600 people on waiting lists. As the funding crisis grows, this number will increase.

  • The number of clients served nationwide by state ADAPs has more than doubled between 1996 and 2000, with ADAPs serving approximately 70,000 clients a month.

  • Recent reports of declining death rates and decreasing HIV- related morbidity point directly to the importance and cost savings of access to antiretroviral treatment and treatment advances using combination therapies.

  • In all parts of the United States, new HIV infections are disproportionately affecting communities of color, rural populations, inner city communities and women of color.

  • The ADAP program is effective and accessible, providing the gift of life to people across the country. The very success of HIV disease treatments continues to increase the need for ADAP.

  • There have been several congressional delegation letters expressing the need for fiscal year 2002 increased appropriations of $120 million for ADAP. We urge your careful consideration of those requests.

  • We join with our colleagues in speaking for patients across the country that this increase would ensure that those enrolled in ADAP treatment programs will not be cut off from these essential treatments and necessary therapies will be available for those identified by nationwide HIV outreach programs this year.
    For additional information, see the ADAP Working Group site,
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    Copyright 2001 by John S. James.

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