Sixteen State ADAPs Have Waiting Lists, Access Restrictions, NASTAD Says
Sixteen states as of this month have waiting lists or access restrictions on their AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, with 679 people on waiting lists nationwide awaiting enrollment into ADAPs, according to the latest "ADAP Watch List" released on Monday by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. ADAPs, which are state-managed, federally funded programs, provide HIV treatment to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals (NASTAD release, 11/3). According to the 2003 "National ADAP Monitoring Report," which was based on a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, NASTAD and the AIDS Treatment Data Network, the national ADAP budget, drug expenditures and the number of clients served by ADAPs all increased between 1996 and 2002. The number of clients served by ADAPs increased 4% in 2002, a rate of growth smaller than in previous years. ADAP drug expenditures grew to more than $70 million in June 2002 -- a 12% increase from June 2001 -- and total ADAP drug expenditures increased 370% between 1996 and 2002. The national ADAP budget reached $878.6 million in fiscal year 2002, up 8% from the year before and 366% since FY 1996 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/24). However, federal funding for ADAPs in FY 2002 and FY 2003 has been "insufficient" to cover all qualified individuals, leading some states to impose access restrictions on the programs, according to NASTAD. Taking into account budget shortfalls, waiting lists, the addition of a new class of antiretroviral drugs and hepatitis C treatments, AIDS treatment policy experts estimate that an additional $214 million will be needed for FY 2004 to alleviate waiting lists and restrictions. However, the Senate has voted to increase ADAP funding for FY 2004 by $38.9 million and the House has voted for a $24.7 million increase, levels that "fall far short" of meeting the demand, according to NASTAD (NASTAD release, 11/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.