- $10 million will go to all states based on the formula for the disbursement of regular Drug Assistance Program funds.
- $25 million is available for continued funding to states that received Drug Assistance Program emergency funds in August 2010.
- $15 million is marked for states that have established and reported waiting lists and/or implemented new cost-containment measures.
It also adds that the maximum amount awarded to any one state will be $3 million. In February, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, proposed the amendment that ultimately secured $42 of the $50 million given to the Health Resources and Services Administration to invest in Drug Assistance Programs across the country.
President Obama’s predecessor was widely criticized for ignoring the domestic fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States, but unfortunately he appears to be following in his footsteps. At the very time should be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the National AIDS Strategy being released, our attention is focused on the nearly 10,000 people living with HIV/AIDS being denied access to life-saving medications – including over 3,500 Floridians. Despite numerous pleas to the Administration for additional ADAP funding [similar to the $25 million reprogrammed last year], our president refuses to do anything about it. The news now that additional Florida ADAP patients could lose coverage because President Obama is limiting AIDS funding is an absolute travesty of social justice, as well as bad public policy.
“I don’t know why they are doing this, and that’s why I tried to get clarification to make sure this is really true,” the AIDS Institute’s Schmid tells the Independent.
“Once a patient begins taking AIDS medications, it is extremely critical that they continue to take them daily or risk developing drug resistance and dangerous health outcomes,” [said AIDS Institute Executive Director Michael] Ruppal. “We can’t imagine the Obama Administration, which has touted the benefits of AIDS treatment, would punish hundreds of AIDS patients in Florida by not even continuing the $6.9 million needed so they can continue to take their medications. We ask that they reconsider this decision and provide Florida with a greater share of the available funding.”
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, a nationwide payer of last resort for people who cannot afford their HIV/AIDS medications, has been in a funding crisis since 2010, which prompted many states, including Florida, to implement cost-containment measures such as waiting lists.