March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010
Help People on ADAP Waiting Lists


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I am up very early this morning to go to a local HIV/AIDS planning council meeting. I was asked to attend when I went to the event on Tuesday evening. So I wanted to get my blog done early since I have a very busy day ahead.

Today I would like to ask everyone a favor. Dab the AIDS Bear and I need your help and assistance to help save American men and women on the ADAP waiting lists in our country. Being one of the first Americans diagnosed with HIV (when it was still called GRID), it angers me to no end that we have men and women on waiting lists for life saving HIV medications in our country.

Having lost over 8000 friends to AIDS including 3 partners and my god child, I speak about the needless deaths of my brothers and sister on ADAP waiting lists as Dab the AIDS Bear and I speak around the world.

We now have over 700 American men and women in 10 states on ADAP Waiting Lists.

We are seeking organizational and individual endorsements of the "Open Letter to Pharmaceutical Companies on the ADAP Crisis," in anticipation of upcoming negotiations with ADAPs in May. The full text of the letter may be read at the end of this message or by clicking here.

Please share this letter by forwarding this message, as well as SIGN ON HERE: http://www.facebook.com/l/f9625;www.hivresearchcatalystforum.org/action.

AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) across the country are struggling to keep their doors open. Over 750 people in ten states are currently on ADAP waiting lists to access HIV/AIDS drugs, and more states are joining the ranks. This situation will not improve anytime soon - certainly not till the new Healthcare Reform Legislation is fully implemented - unless we act now!

ADAPs are at the center of a perfect storm, brought on by the economic meltdown, federal and state budget shortfalls, and continuing escalation of drug prices. The number of people who rely on ADAPs for their medications grew an unprecedented 80% each month in FY2009.

Join the Fair Pricing Coalition in calling on all HIV drug companies to do their part to help solve this crisis by:

1. Implementing a multi year cost protection and rebate enhancement program for ADAPs to reduce their drug costs and allow them to reopen enrollments.

2. Offering streamlined Patient Assistance Program (PAP) eligibility for individuals on any state's ADAP waiting list.

Below is the full text of the letter:

An Open Letter to Pharmaceutical Companies on the ADAP Crisis

The Fair Pricing Coalition, in conjunction with undersigned members and organizations of the HIV community, call upon the manufacturers of HIV antiretrovirals and other medications used by people living with HIV/AIDS to provide immediate relief to AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) and to work in partnership with HIV advocates to ensure that additional federal and state funding also flows to ADAPs.

The ADAP crisis is rapidly expanding. These critical safety net programs are at the center of a perfect storm brought on by the economic meltdown, federal and state budget shortfalls, and continuing escalation of drug prices.

The number of people who rely on ADAPs for their medications grew an unprecedented 80% each month in FY2009. States with waiting lists have grown from 3 to 10 in one year, and clients on those lists increased by 58% in the last quarter alone. Numerous additional states are being forced to plan for imminent implementation of waiting lists, formulary reductions and eligibility cuts.

To meet the needs of over 166,000 individuals living with HIV, and tens of thousands more whose lives will depend on ADAP access in years to come, ADAPs, state and federal governments, and industry partners must all work together to solve this crisis.

The Fair Pricing Coalition and the HIV community are currently addressing budget issues with federal and state officials and are calling on pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide a financial bridge for ADAPs, particularly until the healthcare reform law is fully implemented.

ADAP survival requires that drug manufacturers hold ADAPs harmless against rising drug prices. We call upon manufacturers of HIV antiretroviral and other related drug manufacturers to implement a multi year cost protection and rebate enhancement program for ADAPs which will allow all increased revenues to go toward eliminating waiting lists, providing medications to new clients, and maintaining formularies.

Although manufacturers provide Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) for individuals without government or private health insurance coverage, the confusing patchwork of eligibility and recertification criteria creates barriers to access. We call upon the companies to create a standardized PAP application and to provide automatic PAP enrollment to individuals on any state's ADAP waiting list who have already been certified ADAP-eligible by that state.

Industry must work diligently and in good faith with the ADAP Crisis Task Force during the May 2010 meetings to forge agreements that assure full access to life saving medications for all people living with HIV/AIDS.

Thanks for your help saving the lives of my brothers and sisters with HIV and AIDS. Their lives depend on your support and adding your name to Dab the AIDS Bear's and mine.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab