HIV-Positive Broward County Prisoners Will No Longer Receive Temporary Supply of Antiretroviral Drugs Upon Release
HIV-positive inmates in Broward County, Fla., jails will no longer receive a 30-day "stopgap" supply of antiretroviral drugs when they are released, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Inmates in Broward County previously were given a 30-day supply of antiretroviral drugs upon release to "tide them over" until they could get prescriptions from a doctor. The change in policy results from confusion over a license for drug distribution by the jail. When Wexford Health Sources, Inc. became the medical services provider for the jail in October, it discovered that the county jail's license stated that "no drugs may be distributed outside the jail." The jail had "assumed" that the previous provider held the proper license for drug distribution. Cheryl Stopnick, a spokesperson for Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, said that outside counsel is helping the county look at the "discrepancy" between the license and the Florida Model Jail Standards, which provide guidelines on "drugs to go" for prisoners. AIDS activists are worried that the policy change could hurt the health of county inmates, an estimated 3% of whom are HIV-positive. "In that first 30 days after release, to have those medications in that former inmate's hands is the difference between a full chance of success and a zero percent chance," Greg Scott, president of the People With AIDS Coalition of Broward County, said (Marcus, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.