Originally published on Oct. 17, 2011
The State of Georgia has received $3 million in federal funds for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to improve access to medications for those people living with HIV or AIDS. Georgia and other southeastern states received the second largest funding allocation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an application for assistance the state filed in December.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is using the funds to help alleviate the state’s ADAP wait-list, now at about 1,732 people. About $10,800 is required to treat each patient annually.
“We’re working right now to move about 277 people off the waiting list,” said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, noting that 99 percent of those remaining on the wait list are receiving medications from pharmaceutical companies as part of the state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.
“Georgia’s ADAP waiting list provides us a real-time measurement of need,” Fitzgerald said. “We maintain the list, in part, so we can demonstrate what’s needed in Georgia when we seek additional federal funding.”
The current award of supplemental Ryan White funding from HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is about four times larger than the $731 thousand awarded in 2010.
In addition to the ADAP, DPH is working to move low-income persons living with HIV and AIDS to alternate funding sources which provide medication similar to ADAP, but also physician care. DPH’s HIV Unit is currently expanding a pilot program involving the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), a federally funded care program.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is a state administered program that provides HIV/AIDS medications to low-income individuals living with HIV disease who have little or no coverage from private or third party insurance. ADAP was originally authorized by the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, which was enacted in 1990 as the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act. The Ryan White legislation has been adjusted with each reauthorization to accommodate new and emerging needs, such as an increased emphasis on funding of core medical services and changes in funding formulas. The intent of state and federal legislation is to assure that ADAP funds are used only for the purchase of ADAP formulary drugs that cannot be paid for through other sources. ADAP must be the payor of last resort.