More than 600 low-income AIDS patients in 11 U.S. states are on waiting lists for medicines as funding for assistance programs falls short, a report released on Wednesday said.
Ten other states have had to limit drug coverage or take other steps to control costs for their AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, or ADAPs.
Paid for mostly by the federal government, ADAPs often are the last resort for patients with no other funding for their medications. About 136,000 people annually receive ADAP services.
Overall, ADAP budgets rose 11 percent in fiscal 2004 from the previous year, thanks to increased state funding, drug rebates and higher federal appropriations. Thirty-eight states were able to provide more people with medicines, the report said.
But 11 states had to close enrollment, leaving 627 patients as of March 2005 on waiting lists for prescription drugs to suppress the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
“The growing number of people who need HIV medications, and rising drug costs, continue to exceed available resources,” said Jennifer Kates, director of HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health research organization.
The foundation compiled the report with the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.