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  press release from NASTAD
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF STATE AND TERRITORIAL AIDS DIRECTORS 444 N. Capitol Street, NW #339 Washington, DC 20001-1512 FAX 202-434-8092 PHONE 202-434-8090 WEB www.nastad.org
For immediate release: For further information contact:
July 9, 2003 Murray Penner at (202) 434-8090
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) announced today that it has increased to seven the number of pharmaceutical companies agreeing to partner with the ADAP Crisis Task Force to increase financial assistance for the federal-state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). "This has been a challenging three months and we are pleased with the outcome," noted NASTAD Executive Director Julie Scofield. "Our ADAP Crisis Task Force has found a way to partner with all but one of the country's HIV antiretroviral manufacturers. Industry and the states have come together in a life-saving partnership."
Pulled together to address increasing restrictions within the state ADAP programs, the Task Force conducted a weeklong set of initial meetings in late March. "At the time, we were faced with 13 states that had implemented waiting lists and many more actively considering formulary and eligibility restrictions," noted California AIDS Director Michael Montgomery. "We needed to begin exercising our buying power as states to assure ongoing access to HIV medications."
"It's great to now be able to count Pfizer/Agouron, GlaxoSmithKline, and Boehringer Ingelheim among the participants in this unique partnership," added Steve Sherman, ADAP Director in North Carolina. "As a state that has experienced waiting lists, we know how critical nationwide savings are." Hoffman-LaRoche, Gilead Sciences, Abbott Laboratories, and Merck already had agreed to join the partnership. In addition, Gilead Sciences recently extended special pricing for ADAPs on their newly FDA approved drug, Emtriva.
The seven companies have agreed to contribute more than $50 million nationwide to assist ADAPs. "This is substantial in a year when the current federal fiscal year appropriations only netted an increase of $75 million for a nationwide program that is well over capacity," commented Dwayne Haught, ADAP Coordinator in Texas. "Initial increases for ADAP programs in FY2004 in both House and Senate subcommittees ($39 million and $25 million, respectively) are far less than the savings these partnerships have achieved for ADAP programs," continued Haught.
Annual combined expenditures from the joint state-federal ADAP program now top $850 million. These partnerships will result in savings for ADAPs across the country through a variety of methods. "These were not easy conversations," noted Liza Solomon, AIDS Director for the State of Maryland. "But both sides were invested in achieving meaningful outcomes."
"As important for the future," commented Massachusetts AIDS Director Jean McGuire, "is that all of the industry representatives made a commitment to developing long-term solutions to the critical problem of HIV drug access in this country. Federal funding has not kept pace with the drug program expansion and serious revenue problems in states across the country mean that financing is not keeping pace with need."
States participating in the ADAP Crisis Task Force include California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Collectively these states represent 75% of the national ADAP drug expenditures, but the agreements will apply to all ADAPs. "We are committed to continuing to explore every avenue for savings and every avenue for increased revenue to benefit all state ADAPs and the clients they serve," concluded Scofield.
Negotiations with Bristol-Myers Squibb remain unfinished. "The Task Force continues to be hopeful that Bristol-Myers Squibb will join the seven other manufacturers of antiretroviral medications and become a partner in these collaborative efforts to address the national ADAP crisis," noted David Poole, HIV/AIDS Program Administrator in Florida.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program is authorized under the federal Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act and provides funding for HIV medications for low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories and associated jurisdictions.
For further information, contact:
Dwayne Haught, Texas (512) 490-2505
Jean McGuire, Massachusetts (617) 624-5300
Michael Montgomery, California (916) 323-7415
David Poole, Florida (850) 245-4421
Steve Sherman, North Carolina (919) 715-3111
Liza Solomon, Maryland (410) 767-5013
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