The state’s waiting list for people with HIV to get government drug assistance is steadily growing — intensifying concerns that patients won’t get the medications they need.
More than 1,100 Georgians are on the waiting list for the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). That’s the second-longest list in the country behind Florida’s, says Jeff Graham of Georgia Equality, which runs an advocacy network for people with HIV.
Currently, the ADAP program, which serves more than 4,000 uninsured Georgians, gets about $12 million in state funding and $33 million in federal money. “It has saved lives,’’ Graham says.
The program needs about $5 million in additional state money, plus more federal funding, to eliminate the waiting list, Graham says.
But he says ADAP may face a $600,000 reduction in funding under a new state budget proposal.
A large majority of those on the ADAP waiting list are being helped by patient assistance programs run by pharmaceutical companies, Graham says. That corporate help with medications is not a long-term solution, he says.
The state Department of Community Health, which runs ADAP in Georgia, said Wednesday that by using anticipated federal funding, the waiting list will be substantially reduced.
“Total alleviation of the waiting list will require time and resources at the state level as well as an estimated $13.5 million in funding,’’ the agency said in a statement. “While much of this funding is expected to be federal, continued financial commitment from the Georgia Legislature will be essential.’’ full story