Massachusetts health officials ask for $4.2 million for AIDS drug program
Facing a projected $6.6 million deficit in Massachusetts's AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the state's public health commissioner on Thursday sent a letter to state lawmakers requesting an additional $4.2 million in emergency funding, The Boston Globe reports. The projected budget deficit could cause "radical restrictions" in the program, including program waiting lists and reduced drug benefits, according to ADAP officials. The letter says such ADAP restrictions could "risk serious health outcomes, including death, and will have an effect on the overall transmission rates of HIV" in the state. State lawmakers plan to introduce an amendment to budget legislation that would increase ADAP funding by $4 million, according to a senate aide. Enrollment in Massachusetts's ADAP has increased by more than 28% during the past year because many low-income HIV-positive state residents were removed from the state's Medicaid program due to tightened eligibility requirements. Officials say enrollment in the state's ADAP is expected to increase from about 3,200 people currently to more than 4,000 by the end of the next fiscal year.