Our nation's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) are facing an unparalleled crisis, unlike any we've seen in their two decades of serving people living with HIV/AIDS. A perfect storm of economic upheaval, increased enrollment and state and federal budget deficits have led to ever-expanding wait lists in a number of states and various "cost containment" measures in many others.
As of August 4th - and for the first time ever - the number of people lingering on AIDS Drug Assistance Program wait lists passed 9,000. A total of 9,039 people in 13 states are now unable to access their medications via the programs, which provide drugs to under and un-insured individuals who are not eligible for other programs such as Medicaid.
What's more, Alabama, which already had a wait list, has reduced its program's formulary, while Illinois, which already had expenditure caps, has lowered its program's financial eligibility to 300% the Federal Poverty Level.
This brings the total number of states that have enacted "cost-containment" measures to eighteen, plus Puerto Rico.