Advocates launched a campaign to urge the Florida legislature to secure funding for the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the same week it was announced that almost 1,100 Floridians who live with HIV are on the drug assistance programs waiting list.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, NASTAD (.pdf) shows that as of Friday, Florida has the longest AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list in the U.S. The data also show that over 4,250 people in 11 states are on an ADAP waiting list across the U.S.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program, known as ADAP, is a nationwide, federally-funded payer of last resort for people who cannot afford their HIV/AIDS medications. The program has been in a funding crisis since 2010, which prompted many states, including Florida, to implement cost containment measures (.pdf) such as waiting lists.
In response to the rise in the ADAP waiting list, the Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network writes, “the Florida Senate’s budget proposes an increase for Florida’s ADAP program, but currently there are no recommendations for similar increases from the Florida House of Representatives.”
The Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network has also launched a campaign “to gain support among House members to join the Florida Senate and work together to eliminate the waiting list for Florida ADAP.”
Florida’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS reported in mid-Febraury that 1,000 people (.pdf) were on the ADAP waiting list, and that almost half of those were living in Broward (252) and Miami-Dade (243) counties.
Gov. Rick Scott’s press office wrote to the Independent over a week ago that, “While Gov. Scott did not propose additional funding to ADAP in his 2012-2013 budget recommendations, he is looking at the whole program with the goal of reducing unnecessary administrative costs and making it operate more efficiently so that more people can be served with the funds we already have.”
Other HIV/AIDS advocates and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, have called on Scott to support state funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.