FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Murray Penner
July 29, 2013, Washington, DC – As part of ongoing efforts by the ADAP Crisis Task Force (Task Force) and the pharmaceutical industry to address the continued need for access to HIV antiretroviral medicines through AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), the Task Force announced today that it has reached agreement with AbbVie, Gilead Sciences, Merck, and ViiV Healthcare to extend the voluntary discounts/rebates and price freezes available to all state ADAPs through December 31, 2014.
Over the coming months, ADAPs will be at the center of a health care system change as the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) public and private insurance expansions go into effect. ADAPs are actively preparing to continue to provide medications to clients during this period of transition. Stability in drug pricing agreements during this period is essential for ADAPs and the people living with HIV that they serve. This stability is particularly important as ADAPs navigate the unknowns of ACA implementation, including state Medicaid expansion decisions, specifics of drug coverage in Medicaid and the Marketplace insurance plans, and an uncertain timeline for client transition.
The Task Force, convened by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), previously secured significant multi-year, voluntary discounts and rebates from all eight manufacturers of HIV antiretroviral (ARV) medications, with many of them providing price freezes for ADAPs through 2013. Ongoing discussions continue with other companies regarding extension of their existing agreements.
“We thank AbbVie, Gilead Sciences, Merck and ViiV Healthcare for their ongoing commitment to helping ADAPs bridge the gap in providing life-saving medications to people living with HIV,” stated Chris Hanson, a member of the Task Force and manager of the Michigan ADAP. “The ongoing discounts and price freezes that have been provided to ADAPs, along with expanded patient assistance programs and other initiatives, have helped to provide access to HIV medicines for thousands of people without other options,” Hanson added.
Julie Scofield, Executive Director of NASTAD, commented that, “We are pleased these companies have agreed to these extensions, particularly in light of the third anniversary of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and President Obama’s Executive Order on the HIV care continuum initiative. In order to continue our forward progress in ensuring that people living with HIV/AIDS achieve viral suppression and thus reduce new transmissions, we must continue to ensure access to HIV medications, particularly while the ACA is implemented.”
About the ADAP Crisis Task Force
The Task Force was formed in December 2002 by NASTAD and a group of state AIDS/ADAP directors concerned about the fiscal crisis facing ADAPs nationwide. The Task Force works in partnership with manufacturers of ARV and other HIV-related medications to reduce drug costs and improve access to medications for clients in the nation’s ADAPs. It is estimated that Task Force agreements with companies have saved ADAPs approximately $1.75 billion since 2003. NASTAD provides logistical support to the Task Force.
Founded in 1992, NASTAD is a nonprofit national association of state and territorial health department HIV/AIDS program directors who have programmatic responsibility for administering HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis health care, prevention, education, and supportive services programs funded by state and federal governments. For more information, visit www.NASTAD.org.