Pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences has raised the prices of its life-saving and very expensive anti-retrioviral HIV meds, despite the fact that almost 8,000 people are on waiting lists for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, reports POZ.
The cost of Atripla went up by 5.1 percent, while Truvada and Emtriva increased by 7.9 percent. Although Gilead is maintaining a price freeze for drugs going toward ADAP, the price increase can further stress the overburdened health care system including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies.
Change.org adds: "Just a few months ago, AIDS Healthcare Foundation called for the top pharmaceutical companies (including Gilead) to decrease the prices of their medications to assist with the ADAP crisis. The goal was to inspire Pharma to assist in the crisis by helping ease the financial burden off state and federal funds."
The recession has forced a number of states to slash funding to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the federal/state program that helps low-income, people living with HIV/AIDS pay for their expensive, life-saving medications. Those in the program are disproportionately black, many of the men are gay or bisexual.
In 2010, at least a dozen states closed enrollment in ADAP. Three other states have narrowed eligibility and two of them—Arkansas and Utah—dropped scores from the program. HIV/AIDS service organizations say "an emergency appropriation of at least $126 million" is needed. Virginia recently closed enrollment in its ADAP program.