National News

Wyoming Runs Out of AIDS Money

November 21, 2002

Wyoming’s state AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the HIV/AIDS Care Program that help people with the disease pay for medication and health care are nearly out of money and cannot accept any more participants, officials said.

Kurt Galbraith, the state Department of Health’s care coordinator, said Wyoming has nearly depleted this year’s $340,000 grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services that funds the programs. The funding renews each April 1, meaning no new money will be available until April 1, 2003. "We anticipate that our funds will be totally exhausted within the next 30 to 45 days," Galbraith said.

People qualify for the programs if their household income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $26,580 for one person. Galbraith said 77 people in Wyoming are currently receiving assistance for their medicine and health care under the federal Ryan White CARE Act. A major factor in the shortfall is the increasing cost of medication, which last year took up about 73 percent of the funding, Galbraith said.

Galbraith said the Department of Health is working with nursing care managers in the state to place current clients on pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs. These programs provide essential medication when the patient has no other resources. He said he is also working to secure health care services for current patients.

Next year, Galbraith said, the Health Department will try to avoid the same shortfall by cutting the number of drugs on the plan, decreasing financial eligibility to 200 percent of the poverty level, having a 90-day waiting period for program enrollment for new Wyoming residents and looking into price breaks on drugs. Galbraith said he did not expect more money from the government next year.

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Adapted from:
Associated Press

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.


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