49 People on Idaho’s ADAP Waiting List; Federal Grant Money Almost Exhausted, State Health Official Says
Idaho's AIDS Drug Assistance Program had 49 HIV-positive people on its waiting list at the end of March, and the state's share of a one-time, $20 million federal initiative used to buy drugs for those patients is expected to run out in September, according to Idaho Department of Health & Welfare STD/AIDS Program Manager Anne Williamson, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Boone, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 4/27). ADAPs are federal- and state-funded programs that provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals. According to the "National ADAP Monitoring Project 2005 Annual Report" -- released earlier this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors -- 11 states have ADAP waiting lists. In June 2004, the federal government made available an additional $20 million in ADAP funding to purchase medication for patients on the waiting lists of 10 states, including Idaho (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/21). The funding gave temporary access to antiretroviral drugs to 41 of the 49 HIV-positive people on Idaho's waiting list, but the money will run out in September, Williamson said.
The annual cost of providing medication for each patient through Idaho's ADAP is more than $15,000, the AP/Mercury News reports. However, with $464,915 in fiscal year federal funding and $177,500 in state funding, the state only has about $5,050 to spend for each of the 92 people enrolled in the program. That does not leave enough funding to cover medications for people on the waiting list, according to Williamson. Therefore, the state plans to use some of its $500,000 in federal funding for direct HIV/AIDS services to help buy medications for ADAP patients, according to the AP/Mercury News. "If Congress is not willing to make the commitment to appropriately fund the program, it will be up to individual states to step up to the plate and do their fair share," Williamson said. The state health department had recorded 740 HIV/AIDS cases at the end of 2004 (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 4/27).