Anti-HIV drugmakers Pfizer/Agouron and GlaxoSmithKline this week announced increased financial assistance to state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs to help eliminate waiting lists and curtail tightened eligibility requirements for the programs. Currently, about 1,200 low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people around the country are on waiting lists to gain access to low-cost anti-HIV medications through ADAPs. As of June, 15 state ADAPs had implemented waiting lists or other restrictions to handle budget shortfalls and six other states were considering restrictions.
Under the new agreement Pfizer has offered to temporarily provide free or steeply discounted supplies of Viracept and Rescriptor to ADAPs until Congress addresses ADAP spending for fiscal 2005. Glaxo has pledged $20 million in assistance to ADAPs on top of the $90 million in rebates and price reductions the company has already offered to the programs for fiscal 2004. "We recognize the growing funding challenge faced by ADAPs," said Peter Hare, vice president of Glaxo's HIV division. "We're reconfirming not only our commitment today to enhance patient access to these lifesaving medicines, but also to continue to lead the industry in research for new and better treatments, including medicines and vaccines."