Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky AIDS Drugs Assistance Program Eliminates Waiting List
Program Able to Meet Needs of 306 Clients Awaiting Services
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that improved program efficiencies, pharmaceutical rebates and supplemental funding from the federal government have led to the elimination of the list of individuals who were awaiting assistance from the Kentucky AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (KADAP).
In September, all 306 individuals who were on a waiting list to receive medications for HIV/AIDS were enrolled in the program, giving them consistent access to life-sustaining drugs. KADAP is a payor of last resort for Kentuckians with HIV/AIDS who lack the resources to obtain needed medications. Without prescription medicines, the health of these individuals could deteriorate and drug resistance could develop, making treatment even more costly.
“This is another step forward in our work to assist Kentuckians living with HIV/AIDS,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “Many Kentuckians rely on this program for assistance in obtaining medications that are absolutely vital for their health. Through the work of our staff – along with the advocacy community – individuals in need do not have to wait to access services.”
With the addition of those on the waiting list, the program now serves almost 1,500 Kentuckians. KADAP is expected to be able to accommodate the current rate of new enrollees, approximately 20 per month, through June 2012.
“KADAP is a vital link in the triad of care, treatment and prevention. When individuals have access to medication and treatment, it improves their health and quality of life,” said Bobby Edelen, president of the Kentucky HIV Advocacy and Action Group and at-large member of the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Planning and Advisory Council. “Moreover, when people realize this service is available – and they will have access to care – they are more likely to get tested.”
DPH officials project that if current funding levels and rate of new clients remain the same, no new waiting lists will be implemented in Kentucky through the 2011 fiscal year. Meanwhile, other states around the country continue to face long waiting lists for their AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs (ADAP), particularly in the southeast region of the country. In fact, 93 percent (3,765) of the people on ADAP waiting lists are from a southern state, according to the Southern AIDS Coalition.
DPH officials say the program has been an invaluable resource for its clients, but waiting lists presented a tremendous obstacle in their work to improve access to care and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV/AIDS.
“KADAP is a wonderful program that has benefited hundreds of Kentuckians in need of assistance accessing their medications,” said Sigga Jagne, manager of the HIV/AIDS in DPH. “Being able to eliminate the waiting list for the program helps us tremendously in our outreach to individuals with HIV/AIDS.”
The HIV/AIDS branch has worked diligently with community stakeholders to achieve program efficiencies, as well as educate policy-makers about the need for the program, according to KADAP Program Administrator Merinda Brown. This included leveraging pharmaceutical rebate dollars, emergency federal funding, and ADAP supplemental funds, while also redirecting monies from other program areas.
In addition, Public Health contracted with Kentucky Clinic Pharmacy (KPC), which provides medication to KADAP clients, to reduce fees and provide a number of drugs at a fixed price, as well as implement a variety of innovative cost-saving measures that allow more clients to be served. Together with health care providers and pharmacists on the program’s formulary advisory committee, the program was able to ensure cost-saving steps would not negatively impact the medical standard of care for clients in the program.
KADAP helps eligible low-income Kentuckians purchase AIDS-related, FDA-approved medications. Participants receive formulary medications through mail-order service provided by the KPC in Lexington. For further information, call 1-866-510-0005.