AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
For over 18 years, Welvista has been helping to improve the lives of individuals and families throughout South Carolina, faced with poverty, with no access to health insurance and prescribed medications. Welvista is a statewide nonprofit healthcare network located in Columbia, SC committed to improving health and wellness for the uninsured, by providing access to prescription medications. In 2011, Welvista filled and dispensed more than 100,000 prescriptions to the uninsured valued at over $81 million. As Welvista increases the number of individuals we serve, we can continue to decrease the cost of healthcare for both the uninsured and insured population.
The exponential increases in the costs of prescription medications are a cause of concern across the United States. Welvista partners with 15 branded pharmaceutical companies who donate medications and a network of over 3,000 health care providers making us one of the largest mail-order pharmacies for the uninsured in the nation. By providing a single point of access to over 220 medications that treat chronic diseases, Welvista is an affordable solution to bridge a tremendous gap in health care accessibility.
The current economic crisis has heavily impacted AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). Individuals losing jobs and losing insurance have created increased demand for safety net services. ADAPs have long had a strong state-federal partnership. However, the economic downturn is forcing states to decrease or eliminate their state support of ADAP. While anticipated health reform legislation will provide relief to ADAP, it will not occur until at least 2013 or 2014. The Administration and Congress must step in and provide additional funding to ADAPs in order to fill these gaps and allow them to continue serving HIV individuals in need of their services.
In response to a call for help from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) a solution was developed by three organizations. On May 7, 2010 Heinz Family Philanthropies, Welvista and Abbott announced a solution that begins to address the needs of ADAP clients that will expedite access to HIV medications who are currently on state waiting lists and simplify access to medications rather than the standard patient assistance program (PAP) processes that currently exist. The ADAP waiting lists have increased exponentially due to state budget crises with over 1700 clients waiting for access to life-saving and life sustaining HIV medications. Welvista has been working with states and pharmaceutical manufacturers to become their pharmacy connection in this initiative to further expand the HIV medications available in an effort to meet the growing demands of these clients across the nation. Currently, our pharmaceutical partners include Abbott, Gilead, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Meyers - Squibb, ViiV and Tibotec with the availability of Aptivus, Atripia, Combivir, Complera, Crixivan, Edurant, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Intelence, Isentress, Kaletra, Lexiva, Norvir, Prezista, Rescriptor, Retrovir, Reyataz, Selzentry, Sustiva, Trizvir, Truvada, Viracept, Viramune, Viread and Ziagen on Welvista's formulary.
With the introduction of new medicines, people living with HIV/AIDS are able to live full and productive lives but it is increasingly difficult for people living with HIV/AIDS to afford their medications. Life saving medications can cost a single patient up to $20,000 per year. This is compounded by the fact that nearly three quarters of all people with HIV/AIDS are either uninsured or dependent on public insurance. This makes strengthening our public HIV/AIDS health care system of critical importance. In the meantime, our efforts should concentrate on eliminating the ADAP wait lists.
To access current ADAPs with waiting lists, please visit www.NASTAD.org.
Partnering Pharmaceutical Companies