- NEW YORK (Reuters
Health) - Higher drug costs and a growing population of patients mean US
AIDS drug assistance programs may soon find it difficult to meet patient
needs, despite recent increases in funding.
- Those are the findings of a survey conducted by the Henry
T. Kaiser Foundation, which also found access to these drug programs varies
substantially state by state.
- AIDS drug assistance programs (ADAPs) have experienced
''tremendous'' growth since combination antiretroviral therapy became the
standard of care in 1995, the survey showed. The number of new clients
doubled between 1996 and 1999, from about 27,500 to 55,000. During this
period the monthly drug expenditures of these programs more than tripled,
increasing from $13.3 million to $43.1 million.
- ``In most states, ADAP programs have been able to fill
the gaps in access to prescription drugs for the nation's low-income HIV-infected
population,'' Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, pointed
out. ``Federal contributions to ADAPs have been growing, but as treatment
standards continue to call for newer, more expensive drugs in combination,
these programs will continue to be challenged to meet the needs of their
- The study findings also revealed persistent gaps in ADAP
in some states. For example, 20 states had ``one or more current or projected
ADAP limitations, including 11 states having capped enrollment.''
- Six ADAPs have restricted access to or caps on protease
inhibitors or other antiretroviral drugs, and one program does not even
have protease inhibitors in its formulary. ADAPs in another nine states
project that their program budgets will be exhausted before the end of
fiscal year 1999.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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