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ADAP waiting
lists shrink

ADAP waiting
lists shrink

Thanks to many low-income HIV patents now being able to enroll in the Medicare prescription drug plan and because of increased state spending for anti-HIV drugs, waiting lists for state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs have been cut by more than half. The number of people nationwide on ADAP waiting lists as of the end of July was 310, down from nearly 800 reported in February, the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors announced Thursday.

Five states had ADAP waiting lists as of the end of July, compared with nine states five months earlier. Those five are: Arkansas, Kentucky, Montana, South Carolina, and West Virginia. However, four of those five states have had waiting lists for the past 18 months, according to NASTAD. And two states that were able to eliminate their waiting lists have once again capped ADAP enrollment, and waiting lists are expected to soon return. In addition, five states--Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina--have implemented other cost-saving strategies, including tightening financial eligibility requirements, limiting the number of drugs provided, or introducing cost-sharing measures. And five states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands are expected to implement new cost-saving measures before the end of the current fiscal year.

"Without a long-term investment in the financial stability of ADAPs, progress in reducing the number of individuals on waiting lists will undoubtedly be short-lived," said Julie Scofield, NASTAD's executive director, in a press statement. "Passage of proposed changes to strengthen the ADAP Supplemental in a reauthorized Ryan White CARE Act--coupled with increased funding--is essential to ensure that these programs continue to provide lifesaving medications to the most vulnerable populations." (The Advocate)

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