Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

ADAP Watch Jan 21, 2011 and the crisis in Florida


 ADAPs with Waiting Lists
(5,550 individuals in 10 states*, as of January 20, 2011)
(changes from Jan 13 noted in parens (+163))

Arkansas: 23 individuals (+4)
Florida: 2,879 individuals (+63)
Georgia: 873 individuals (0)
Louisiana: 603 individuals** (+20)
Montana: 19 individuals (0)
North Carolina: 103 individuals (+3)
Ohio: 445 individuals (+7)
South Carolina: 344 individuals (+3)
Virginia: 260 individuals (+63)
Wyoming: 1 individual (0)

ADAP Jan 20th Watch List
**Louisiana has a capped enrollment on their program.  This number is a representation of their current unmet need.

If you have a moment, please read the article Tim Horn has written about the crisis in Florida
"Fiasco in Florida"

--- Quote ---Roughly 6,500 ADAP clients in Florida are about to be temporarily cut off from their HIV medications.
. . .
The Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is in big trouble. As if the program’s ever-expanding waiting list—currently consisting of more than 3,000 HIV-positive state residents in need of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment—wasn’t bad enough, Florida’s ADAP is expected to exhaust all available funds and virtually shut down in early February. Given that new Ryan White CARE Act funding won’t be available to the program until April 1, a large percentage of the state’s ADAP clients are on the verge of a nightmare: nearly two months without access to lifesaving medication.

Enter the Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC), a national group of activists that has performed nothing short of a magic act to bridge the imminent gap in Florida. FPC has succeeded in brokering a series of agreements—with Welvista, a national, nonprofit mail-order pharmacy; major pharmaceutical companies manufacturing ARVs; and Florida’s ADAP—that will allow about 6,500 of the state’s 10,000 ADAP clients to continue receiving their ARVs, beginning February 14. With these agreements, Florida should have enough funds to provide medications to the remaining 3,500 ADAP clients.
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I'd also like to give a shout-out to Ken Trogdon, CEO of Welvista (Yeah Ken! Yeah Welvista! ;D ), who has had an active part in helping with this situation.

In South Carolina our legislature tried to defund ADAP for this year's budget and has proposed the ridiculous bill for this upcoming year's budget of only paying for generic HIV meds (only AZT and ddI are generic), so once again we will be having a rally (2/9/11 next week!) to pressure our state government to fully fund ADAP and HIV prevention programs. Against that political backdrop in the state capital of Columbia SC, Welvista is a small non-profit organization also located in Columbia SC.

I met Mr. Trogdon at a SC HIV/AIDS Crisis Care Task Force meeting just a few weeks ago at our Dec meeting. A kind, concerned man, Mr Trogdon reflected the concern and compassion of his non-profit organization which has for years been insuring that people with chronic conditions have had access to their needed medications. Taking on HIV meds and the ADAP crisis has been a huge challenge that Ken and his org. have risen up to tackle. Expanding out of SC, they had just recently (in Dec 2010) brokered deals with all the major pharmaceuticals and the states with ADAP waiting lists to provide meds to everyone on those waiting lists. Now they are moving on to tackle this huge crisis affecting 6,500 HIV positive American citizens who are currently on medications and whose very lives and health are at risk if they would lose access to their ARVs.

--- Quote ---Welvista CEO Ken Trogdon negotiated terms with Florida to ensure that the costs incurred by Welvista for serving these 6,500 patients would be covered. Remember, Welvista is a small nonprofit mail-order pharmacy that serves many uninsured people around the country with various diseases. Welvista is not a huge company that is able to absorb the huge overhead costs associated with dispensing drugs to 6,500 people.

Ken flew to Florida to get the job done. When he got there, he was made to wait three hours and deal with a bevy of Florida lawyers. The contract terms were not in fact the terms that were previously agreed to by Florida. Ken has repeatedly requested the number of prescriptions that will need to be filled week by week, patients’ medication needs, including medication doses and other relevant information so that they can be tracked and coded properly. Ken needs this elementary information so he can order the correct meds for people.

This is very basic information that Ken has been requesting for the last two weeks. You would think that Florida would have provided this information yesterday. Why are they dragging their feet and speaking from both sides of their mouths? Is it incompetence? Are these 6,500 people unimportant to them?

You would think Florida would be breaking its back to make this deal fly instead of continuing to insert flies in the anointment. Frankly, I’m baffled and quite appalled by what I’m hearing about Florida’s ADAP administration. They have apparently known about this impending fiasco since October of 2010 and failed to remedy this situation. They haven’t even applied for all the industry rebates the state was entitled to. What’s going on down there? Who’s minding the store?
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