ADAP in Perspective -- Nationally and Budgetary

The NYT runs an article on the disaster that is ADAP in the states.

Left unwritten, but alluded to, is the fact that the feds can't come to a budget agreement, leaving ADAP and Medicaid twisting in the wind. The failure to send the promised FMAP (Medicaid) funds to the states is adding to the problem.

Also, relief was removed from the vaunted health reform bill. All parties left and right are responsible for this tragedy.

Note the graph in the NYT article. NC heads the list.

As this audience probably knows, the NC legislature added $14.1 million more to the $11 million already appropriated for FY 10-11.

While this is laudable in this stark budget environment, the fact is another waitlist will almost certainly develop again before the end of the fiscal year.

With the state legislature shutting down, we must look to Congress and the pharmaceutical companies to open access to lifesaving drugs.

As the article notes, one death in South Carolina has already been linked to this problem.

From a more clinical perspective, look for this fast-mutating virus to develop drug resistance in those missing medication. And of course, expensive hospitalizations will again be the norm for those without meds.

The thing is ADAP serves people who actually KNOW they need the medication and are willing to take it. These aren't irresponsible people or crazy crackheads that don't know what to do with pills. They desparately want to take care of themselves.

The spike in the need for ADAP is actually driven by quite logical things like 1) better testing 2) kids "aging out" of Medicaid 3) the loss of COBRA/health insurance as unemployment persists over a longer period of time.

North Carolina is hard hit by this problem. I look forward to Senators Burr and Hagan, our US House delegation addressing this issue directly and in public.

I look forward to drug companies with operations in NC negotiating reduced prices, bridge programs, and free trials QUICKLY for those that need assistance.

The public and private sector both have roles to play, and the time for action is upon us.