Oklahoma ADAP
needs $600,000

Michael Harmon,
chief of HIV and sexually transmitted disease services
for the Oklahoma state health department, told a state
senate panel this week that the department needs an
additional $603,600 for its AIDS Drug Assistance
Program. The money, Harmon said, would raise the amount of
state funds for the program to nearly $1.39 million.

Oklahoma has
about 5,456 HIV cases, but a 2004 estimate of unmet needs
found that 3,084 Oklahoma HIV patients were not receiving
care. The drug assistance program served 881 clients
in 2004, according to Harmon, and the number of
clients is expected to climb to 990 in 2006 and to 1,049 in

Drug expenses are
a key component of the program's overall cost, Harmon
said, noting that antiretroviral medicines can cost $14,000
annually per client. Oklahoma's program is capped at
$12,000 per client. After that sum is reached, clients
must rely on short-term help such as pharmaceutical
companies' compassionate-care programs, Harmon noted. He
said supplemental funds have allowed the program to lift the
spending cap for some clients. (AP)

Tags: Health, Health

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