New Mexico Adds Three Antiretrovirals to AIDS Drug Assistance Program
New Mexico's Department of Health recently added three antiretroviral drugs to its AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the AP/Las Cruces Sun-News reports. The health department now provides 77 medications to 426 people through its ADAP, which has been in operation for at least 12 years, according to health officials. All of the three new antiretrovirals have been approved by FDA during the past six months. The drugs will be used primarily by people who have developed resistance to first-line drugs or who experience side effects from first-line medications, the AP/Sun-News reports.
To qualify for New Mexico's ADAP, individuals must earn less than 400% of the federal poverty level, according to the AP/Sun-News. The average cost of medications for people enrolled in the ADAP is $10,680 annually, the health department said. The health department adds new medications to its ADAP based on recommendations from a medical advisory committee comprised of department staff, community physicians and other HIV/AIDS treatment experts.
"In the short term, these medications represent a very significant advance in our ability to treat HIV, particularly among people who have developed drug resistance," Steve Jenison, medical director of the health department's Infectious Disease Bureau, said, adding, "In the long term,
these medications get us one step closer to being able to control HIV by interfering with each stage of its life cycle. That is key to someday finding a cure for HIV" (AP/Las Cruces Sun-News, 2/21).