A report released Monday by the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors shows that 15 state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs currently have waiting lists or access restrictions because of budget shortfalls, and another six states are expected to implement restrictions before the end of the year. The report, titled "ADAP Watch List," shows that drug expenditures and the number of clients served by ADAPs increased dramatically between 1996 and 2002. Drug expenditures rose 370% since 1996 and climbed an additional $70 million from June 2001 to June 2002 alone.
The total federal budget for the state-run programs reached $878.6 million last year, but ADAP officials say funding is still inadequate, which has led to the waiting lists and other restrictions. The report indicates that an additional $283 million will be needed for fiscal year 2004 to eliminate these restrictions, but the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education last week voted to increase spending on ADAPs by just $39 million in fiscal 2004. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to address the spending measure this week.
ADAPs provide low-cost anti-HIV drugs to low-income people with HIV/AIDS throughout the United States and U.S. territories and serve an estimated 80,000 people each month.