Latest ADAP Numbers Show More than 1400 People on Waiting Lists in 11 States

The latest ADAP Watch, issued by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), indicates that 1,431 people with HIV are on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists as of June 10 -- more than double the number in March. Several states that do not yet have waiting lists have implemented other cost-control strategies or plan to do within a year. To address the crisis, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) have introduced legislation to provide additional ADAP funding for the current fiscal year.

According to the June report, the number of people on ADAP waiting lists has increased by 116% since March, an indication of the ongoing recession that is straining state budgets. North Carolina has by far the most people wait-listed, at more than 700; 4 other states have more than 100 people unable to join.

In addition, 12 ADAPs -- including 4 that also have waiting lists -- have instituted additional cost-containment measures since April 1, 2009. Another 7 ADAPs are considering new or additional cost-control measures during the coming year. Such measures include reducing program eligibility, capping enrollment, reducing the number of drugs on formularies, and cutting other services that impact access to HIV medications for medically vulnerable individuals.

"With continuing cuts in state funding, growing client demand for access to ADAP services and minimal federal increases, it is paramount that emergency federal resources be made available to stave off the crisis most ADAP programs and the clients they serve are facing," according to the report. "NASTAD and other community organizations are appealing for an additional $126 million in FY2010 emergency federal funding to allow states to continue their programs and clear waiting lists without imposing further access restrictions for people living with HIV/AIDS who need ADAP services."

The full June 11, 2010 ADAP Watch is available online.

Bill Proposes More Funding

In late May, Senators Burr and Coburn introduced the ACCESS ADAP Act (S3401), which would provide $126 million to ADAPs for the remainder of fiscal year 2010 to address the immediate needs of individuals on waiting lists and to prevent these lists from expanding and being implemented in more states.

The additional money would come from unobligated discretionary funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama's economic stimulus plan.

"At a time when waiting lists are growing with no end in sight and these patients no longer have access to their life-saving drugs through ADAP, there couldn't be a more appropriate funding stream to deal with the preservation of healthcare and the promotion of these individual's wellness," said William Arnold, executive director of the Community Access National Network.

"These funds will directly and immediately save lives," AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein concurred. "As far as we are concerned, this is stimulus; people with HIV/AIDS who get their lifesaving drugs can continue to work and be productive."

6/15/10

Sources

National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). The ADAP Watch. June 11, 2010.

Community Access National Network (CANN). North Carolina and Oklahoma Senators Take Lead on Solving Crisis. Press release. May 25, 2010.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Senate Bill by Coburn & Burr Takes Aim at AIDS Drug Crisis, Says AHF. Press release. May 24, 2010.