National ADAP Working Group Calls for $145M in Emergency Supplemental Funds for Fiscal Year 2003
The National ADAP Working Group is calling for $145 million in emergency supplemental appropriations to maintain the AIDS Drug Assistance Program's current levels of functioning through the end of this fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2004, according to a ADAP Working Group press release. The recommendation is based on the findings of a recent National ADAP Monitoring Project report (ADAP Working Group release, 6/6). According to the report, which was released in April and was based on a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Alliance for State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the AIDS Treatment Data Network, although the national ADAP budget increased by $86 million during FY 2000, the program is running out of money in more and more states. ADAPs provide prescription drugs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam for HIV-positive individuals who are uninsured and could otherwise not access such drugs. However, at least 10 states, including Georgia, Maine and Texas, have had to restrict access to antiretroviral drugs or cap program enrollments because of limited funding (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/9). Bill Arnold, executive director of the Working Group, said, "It is vital that Congress appropriate $145 million in emergency funds immediately so that ADAPs across the nation won't be forced to impose more drastic limitations to access this year." He added that without those funds, ADAPs will need an additional $283 million for FY 2004 "just to eliminate the waiting lists and limitations in ADAP services that will result from inaction now." Working Group Co-Chair Lei Chou said, "It's very simple. We either pay this amount now or we pay enormous amounts later. The data is clear and concrete" (Working Group release, 6/6).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.