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Federal AIDS Drug Program Is Strained by Weak Economy (NY Times)

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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:51 PM
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Federal AIDS Drug Program Is Strained by Weak Economy (NY Times)
While Ryan White funding to states has remained steady, if flat, demand has increased, especially for ADAP access. California has chosen to cut other AIDS - related programs and preserve ADAP as a bottom line. Not sure how other states are handling their Ryan White appropriations, but this article highlights the challenges some are facing and the consequences. ~ pinto

Federal AIDS Drug Program Is Strained by Weak Economy
By Kevin Sack
Published: June 30, 2010

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The weak economy is ravaging the government program that provides life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs to people with H.I.V. or AIDS who cannot afford them. Nearly 1,800 have been relegated to rapidly expanding waiting lists that less than three years ago had dwindled to zero.

As with other safety-net programs, ballooning demand caused by persistent unemployment and loss of health insurance is being met with reductions in government resources. Without reliable access to the medications, which cost individuals in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program an average of $12,000 a year, people with H.I.V. are more likely to develop full-blown AIDS, transmit the virus and require expensive hospitalizations.

Eleven states have closed enrollment in the federal program, most recently Florida, which has the nations third-largest population of people with H.I.V. Three other states have narrowed eligibility, and two of them Arkansas and Utah have dropped scores of people from the program.


Drug assistance has grown since 1996 to become the largest component of the federal Ryan White program, which provides grants to states and localities. The drug programs budget from all sources is now $1.6 billion, with Washington contributing about 55 percent, states offering 14 percent and drug company rebates accounting for 31 percent, according to the state AIDS directors.

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