Our AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) uses about $10M of federal funds to provide medicine to treat HIV and prevent related infections to low-income folks with HIV who have limited or no coverage from private insurance, AHCCCS or Medicare.  Applicants for the program need to show that their annual income is less than 300% of federal poverty level and be screened for AHCCCS eligibility in order to ensure that ADAP is the “payer of last resort” (which means all applicants must have AHCCCS denial letters). Our program currently serves about 1,000 clients statewide each month.

ADAP has had a large increase in client enrollment during 2010 because of job losses in this difficult economy,  putting a financial strain on the program’s budget.  In the last year, we’ve implemented cost-reducing measures like limiting the medicine formulary and instituting drug rebate agreements which have saved $2 million/year (about 20%).  However, these savings aren’t enough to stay solvent at the current pace.  We’ve been seriously considering starting a waiting list for new applicants, but we have been able to avoid implementing the waiting list so far because of some funds promised from the Maricopa County Ryan White program.

If we had implemented a waiting list last month, it would have been “prioritized” meaning that if someone has a really low cell mediated immunity or is pregnant, they’d be enrolled and wouldn’t have been put on the wait list.  Folks already enrolled would have stayed on the program, but as clients drop off the program we would have filled their slot with someone from the list. As I mentioned, we’ve avoided going to a wait list for the moment but we’ll need to keep a close eye on the budget to make sure we stay okay.  Further information and updates are available at our ADAP Website.