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Florida ADAP

National Policy Office – Washington, D.C.: 202-835-8373

Program and Administrative Office – Tampa, FL: 813-258-5929

 

For Immediate Release: 04.30.12


Media Contacts: Ted Howard, 813.258.5929, thoward@theaidsinstitute.org

 

The AIDS Institute Praises Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Legislature for Taking Steps to Support AIDS Drug Assistance Program 

Will Help Alleviate Long Wait List to Receive Medications

Tampa, FL –The AIDS Institute applauds Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature for increasing state funding to the Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) as part of the 2012 state budget recently approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

“This is an extraordinary step forward for the healthcare of Floridians living with HIV who do not have the means to pay for medications to keep them healthy and alive,” commented Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.  “We thank both the Florida legislature and Governor Scott for supporting a program that saves lives, reduces medical costs and saves tax payer dollars.”
ADAP provides life-saving medications to treat low income people with HIV/AIDS who are underinsured or uninsured throughout the country. It is funded by a combination of federal and state funds, and rebates provided by pharmaceutical companies.
The program in Florida currently serves about 12,000 people.   Due to severe budget constraints and increased patient demand caused by people losing their jobs and health insurance during these tough economic times in Florida, the Florida ADAP program has had to institute wait lists for people to receive their medications.  At one point last year over 4,000 Floridians were on a wait list for this life-saving program.  Due in part to increased federal dollars that number has been reduced to 427.
The $2.5 million in recurring state general revenue funds for Florida ADAP should help reduce the current wait list even more and at the same time help meet the continued increase in new patients entering the program every month.
“It’s very satisfying to see our elected officials understand the value of this program. ADAP saves Florida millions more than it contributes because it keeps patients on their medications and off Medicaid.  ADAP patients can remain in Florida’s workforce and stay healthier. They are hospitalized less often, too,” said Jesse Fry, Co-chairman of Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network, a program of The AIDS Institute.
“When a person is not receiving medications they run the risk of becoming sicker and often have to leave work and end up being disabled.  Then they go on Medicaid, which, in the end, costs the state more in treatment costs,” Fry added.
The AIDS Institute is pleased with this increase in program support and will work closely with the Florida Department of Health to ensure that the Florida ADAP program remains flexible to consumer and patient support and a viable safety net for those with the greatest need.

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ADAP Town Hall Meeting

 ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) Town Hall Meeting

Co-Sponsored by HRC

Monday, October 17
6:30 p.m.

The Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 N. Dixie Hwy.
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

AIDS Drug Assistance Program–Waiting List Awareness Day Community Panel Featuring:

-Paul Moore, ADAP Representative, Broward Co. Health Dept.
-Donna Sabatino, RN, ANAC Chapter President & Janssen Community Liaison
-Joey Wynn, Co-Chair, Florida AIDS Advocacy Network
-Anthony Johnson, Bringing Our Lives Together (B.O.L.T., HIV Centric Support Group)
-Dr. Sheetal (Beau) Sharma, MD, AAHIVM, Internal Medicine/HIV Medicine

-Moderated by Tracer Foster, Human Rights Campaign

This free event is designed to bring all organizations together to raise awareness of Florida’s ADAP program waiting list, and to help those people who may have fallen out of the “system” for HIV/AIDS care. The panel above will discuss their ideas for this crisis and discuss next steps to ensure no one gets sick during this difficult time. Anyone interested in learning how they can help should attend. Local legislators have been invited to give their feedback, along with the local media to cover the meeting. There is strength in numbers, please show up to provide your support…everyone who attends will have a chance to be heard.

For questions about this event, please email Tracerfoster@yahoo.com.

 

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Tuesday May 3, 2011 there will be a rally in Miami at noon at the

Kovens Conference Center
3000 NE 15th Street
Miami, FL 33181

The honorable Governor of Florida is proposing to lower ADAP funding by lowering the eligibility level of income from 400% to 200%. (400% is approximately $40,000 while 200% is $20,000/year). This will basically throw about 3,000 Floridians off ADAP. There will be 4 meetings held across the state to protest these cuts. Miami is the closest to us.

Buses will be provided on Tuesday by AHF Pharmacy to the Miami rally against ADAP cutbacks. Bring your letters to read at the meeting on how these cutbacks will effect you or your friends. Buses will be leaving from Broward House located on Andrews Ave, south of Oakland Park Blvd ( approximately around 28 Street ). Leaving at at 10:00 am & 10:30 am… Be there by 9:30 am & 10:00 am respectively to get on one of these buses. The meeting in Miami starts at noon !

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ADAP and NBC News

Dab Garner contacted Anthony from Bolt to let me know that NBC News Miami is doing a story on the ADAP waiting list and are looking for volunteers to participate. The volunteer needs to be HIV+ and currently on the ADAP waiting list. They are looking to do the story on Monday, April 11th. If you or soneone you know is interested, please contact Anthony at (954) 638-0421 with your name and contact number and I will forward it to him.

Thank you!! Anthony

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House passes ‘Hastings Amendment’ in a voice vote early Friday morning; following meetings with AHF doctor & staff, Alcee Hastings (D, FL 23rd), introduced and shepherded budget amendment reallocating $42 million in government bureaucracy to relieve the struggling AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP)

Florida, with nation’s third highest AIDS rate, has 3,276 people on an ADAP waiting list as of Feb 17th; AHF commends Rep. Hastings for his leadership funding lifesaving AIDS drug program

By: AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Washington, DC – February 18, 2011
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today commended United States Congressman Alcee Hastings (D, FL, 23rd District) for authoring, introducing and successfully shepherding a budget amendment to the current year’s budget that secures crucial additional funding to address a growing crisis in the nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), a network of federal and state funded programs that provide life-saving HIV treatments to low income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS nationwide. The House of Representatives passed the Hastings Amendment in a voice vote recorded at 12:38 a.m. Friday morning.

“Congressman Hastings has succeeded in getting government funding—$42 million—reallocated to address a growing AIDS funding shortfall that is crippling ADAP and threatening the lives of thousands of Americans,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “His swift and decisive action on this issue shows real leadership, and as a result, people with AIDS in Florida and across the nation have the potential to get off waiting lists and on to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. We thank Representative Hastings for vigorously supporting—and funding—ADAP, and we now call on the Senate to follow suit and make this funding happen.”

As of February 17th, there were 6,452 individuals on ADAP waiting lists in 10 states, including 3,276 people—more than half the nationwide total—in Hastings’ home state of Florida. Since December alone, patient waiting lists for the nation’s hard-hit AIDS Drug Assistance Program have grown 36% for individuals waiting to access antiretroviral treatment through ADAP than there were just two months ago.

Last week, officials and physicians from AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Southern Bureau, which serves more than 15,000 Floridians living with HIV/AIDS through a variety of programs, including free HIV testing and prevention programs, HIV/AIDS health care centers and AHF pharmacies located throughout the state, a statewide disease management program and its Positive Healthcare Managed Care program, traveled to Washington to lobby for the use of financial offsets from HHS bureaucracy to address the ADAP crisis. Michael Kahane, AHF’s Southern Bureau Chief and Dr. Rebecca Colon, Medical Director of AHF’s NorthPoint clinic in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida met primarily with the Florida House delegation, clearly laying out the impact ADAP funding shortages are having on people with HIV/AIDS in Florida, as well as those vulnerable to infection.

During the lobbying visits, AHF’s delegation met with Rep. Alcee Hastings’ office. Congressman Hastings subsequently offered an amendment to the House budget that moves $42 million from the bureaucracies of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and redirects it through Health and Human Services (HHS) specifically to ADAP, for use from now until the end of September, 2011. This reallocation of existing government funds results in more money for AIDS and no increase in overall federal spending.

“What’s truly remarkable about the passage of the Hasting Amendment is that at time when the Republican controlled House is cutting over $100 billion from the budget, they unanimously agreed to fund AIDS care and treatment,” added AHF’s Weinstein.

Still ahead: the Senate must now agree to the budget amendment in order for it to pass and take effect.

In an official statement posted on his blog (via his website) earlier today, Representative Hastings wrote:

“Last night, I offered an amendment to H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, which would help people living with HIV/AIDS who cannot afford their treatment by reallocating additional funding to our nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). I am pleased to report that my amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and thus included in H.R. 1.

It is unconscionable that, in 2011, we often have the resources to save lives but wait until a crisis before taking action. Just this month, thousands of Floridians living with HIV/AIDS were on the verge of losing access to their life-saving drugs as Florida’s ADAP ran out of money.

My amendment reallocates $14 million from each of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 administrative budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) in order to provide $42 million to ADAP. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if enacted, my amendment would save $1 million in new FY 2011 expenditures. Furthermore, it would have no net budget authority effect for FY 2011.

We can and must do better. I urge my colleagues to support increased funding for our nation’s ADAP by voting in favor of my amendment. By reallocating desperately-needed funds to ADAP, we are helping states like Florida ensure that low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS have access to the medications and services they need to stay alive while stemming the tide of new infections and saving our nation money in the long-term.”

During the debate on the amendment last evening, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, FL 20th District) also spoke on the issue. In her remarks, Wasserman Shultz said:

“This essential national program is undeniably in the midst of a devastating funding crisis. The combination of an economic recession, state budget cuts and increased testing and diagnosis of HIV have a created the perfect storm against ADAP’s fiscal situation. More patients are requiring ADAP treatment as the program has been emptied out.

This has resulted in drastic cuts to services provided and thousands in 10 different states have ended up on waiting lists to receive these necessary lifesaving drugs. In my own state of Florida, with the largest of all such waiting lists, 3,276 individuals languish without access to affordable lifesaving treatment. Our state has lowered financial eligibility down to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level while at the same time reducing the formulary for the patients who still qualify.

In this budgetary climate, we must make smart and sensible decisions where we can afford to make an administrative haircut if the tradeoff is saving lives. It is our moral imperative to do so.”

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Poz Magazine looks at the ADAP crisis in Florida.

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We have been unable to reach – through client choice not to be reached – some individuals affected by the Welvista Transition Program (attached is the Program Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions). If you have any clients, or know somebody, who may be eligible for the Welvista Transition Program (see letters also attached) please share this email and its attachments with them.

Some individuals will be told their prescriptions have been cancelled when they attempt to order refills because they are Welvista clients. The best course of action is for the clients to contact the ADAP Office at (954) 290-2728 and they will be advised how to proceed.

Paul A. Moore, MSW
HIV/AIDS Program Director
Broward County Health Department
780 SW 24th Street
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33315
Tel: 954-467-4700 Ext. 5590
Fax: 954-598-3209
Email: Paul_Moore@doh.state.fl.us
*******************************************

*******************************************
Welvista Transition Answers For ADAP Clients
The Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) will make a temporary change in the
program to ensure continued access to your life saving medications.
What is the temporary change?
Clients who can obtain most or all of their drug regimen from the Welvista formulary will be
temporarily transitioned to Welvista. Florida ADAP has collaborated with Welvista, a non-profit
organization to provide clients access to prescription medications donated by multiple HIV
pharmaceutical manufacturers.
When will this change take place?
Effective February 14, 2011 until March 31, 2011.
How will I get my medications?
You will be able to pick up your medications at the ADAP office in your local county health
department as you have been doing.
What is the cost of the medication?
All the medications received from Welvista are free.
Will I be affected?
If you are someone targeted to receive your drugs through Welvista, the ADAP program office will
request Welvista to fill your prescription(s).
What information will be required from me?
If you do not have a prescription with at least a 60-day fill remaining, you will be asked and assisted
in getting a new prescription from your doctor.
Will I need to order refills from Welvista?
No. This will be done for you by the ADAP program. Welvista will then fill 60 days of medications to
carry you through March 31, 2011.
How long will I get my medications from Welvista?
Welvista will provide one, 60-day fill to last until March 31, 2011. On April 1, 2011 the Florida ADAP
program will begin filling your prescriptions again.
What will I need before coming back into ADAP?
You will need a new prescription to access medications from the Florida ADAP starting April 1, 2011.
Does my doctor know I will need a new prescription?
Medical unit is working to inform doctors that any person receiving drugs from Welvista will need a
new prescription before they are able to receive medications from ADAP starting April 1, 2011.
Will anything change once I am back in ADAP?
No. You will reorder and continue to pick up your drugs in the same way.
If you have any questions, please contact your local ADAP office or case manager.
*********************************************
Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
WELVISTA TRANSITION GUIDANCE
Effective through March 31, 2011
Welvista
Pharmaceutical
Assistance
Clients who can obtain 100% of their drug regimen from the Welvista formulary will
be temporarily transitioned to Welvista. Florida ADAP has collaborated with Welvista,
a non-profit organization to provide selected clients access to prescription
medications donated by multiple HIV pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Who Will Be
Transitioned To
Welvista
ADAP clients who are eligible to receive medications from Welvista were identified by
the ADAP program office in Tallahassee on January 24, 2011. That list was emailed
(encrypted) to each pharmacy manager and county ADAP program manager.
These clients will be labeled as “Transitioned-Welvista” in the database.
Pharmacist will only transfer clients to Welvista who have fills for 60 days or more.
Prescription Fills Welvista will provide 60-day fills. This will cover clients through 03/31/2011.
Prescription
Transfer
Pharmacist will send a hard copy of the client’s prescription that is identified as
having a 60-day or more fill to Welvista.
Send hard copy of prescription via FedEx overnight to:
Welvista
2700 Middleburg Drive, Suite 105
Columbia, SC 29204
Attn: Shemega Tyson, RPh
803-933-9183
New
Prescriptions
Patients who do not have at least 60-days of fill left will need a new prescription for
60 days.
The Medical Director for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS is working to inform medical
providers of this need.
Intelence and
Prezista
Attention: Some clients who were identified for transition to Welvista may have
Intelence and /or Prezista as part of their regimen. The drugs Intelence and Prezista
will be provided through Central Pharmacy and not Welvista.
Any of the prescriptions that were identified to go to Welvista containing Intelence or
Prezista must be sent and filled by the Central Pharmacy. Please coordinate the
drugs from Welvista and the fill from Central Pharmacy (Intelence and /or Prezista) to
ensure clients receive their complete drug regimen, If a client does not have a 60-
day fill, a new prescription is required.
Page 2 2/10/2011
Central Pharmacy will mail Intelence and/or Prezista directly to the ADAP
coordinators in each county to distribute.
ADAP headquarters will send a list of clients to the primary ADAP contact, who are
identified as part of the transition to Welvista, having a prescription for Intelence and
/or Prezista.
Client
Notification
Given the short time frame, local areas are asked to notify clients as quickly as
possible. A FAQ is attached for clients. Please share broadly with case
managers,CBOs, ASOs and post where appropriate.
Medication
Pick-ups
The following procedures apply:
1. Clients will pick up their medications from ADAP coordinators in their
respective area.
2. Client must date and sign a drug pickup form. (see attached)
3. The pickup form must be placed in the client’s file.
4. No logging of Welvista drug pickups is required in the ADAP database.
Medications
Shipment
Client’s medications will be mailed to the county health departments. The package
will be sent to the attention of the agent (ADAP coordinator).
Medications will be labeled and packaged for each individual client.
Welvista makes every effort to process each order within 24-48 hours and ships them
via the United States Postal Service with delivery confirmation. Turn-around time will
be 5-7 days from receipt of the client’s prescription.
Medications
Distribution
Medications received from Welvista should be stored and distributed by primary
ADAP contacts at the County level.
Storage of
Medications
The storage for received medications should be located in an area completely
separate from the dispensing Pharmacy.
Medications are to be stored under a locked system (i.e. the storage area containing
the medications must be locked).
Medications Not
Picked Up
DO NOT RETURN medications to Welvista that are not picked up.
Those medications should be quarantined and each CHD should contact their
contracted reverse distributor for pick-up and destruction.
Clients
Transitioning
Back To ADAP
04/01/2011
All clients transitioning back to ADAP will require a new prescription. Obtaining a
new prescription should be coordinated during the months of February and March,
2011.

Recertification ADAP contacts will be able to access client’s record in the database to recertify
clients as needed.
Questions Contact ADAP headquarters at 850-245-4335

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