Monday, August 12, 1996
WASHINGTON - The politically, medically and scientifically
sophisticated response of the AIDS community to the HIV epidemic has pushed
government to respond in ways that have permanently altered many aspects of
the regulatory and health care delivery systems, from the FDA approval process
to public involvement in clinical trial design to reimbursement for drugs. It
also has forced the private sector to rethink the way it interacts with patients
and government entities.
One manifestation of these changes is the AIDS Drug Assistance
Program (ADAP), formally Title II of the Ryan White Act. The program provides
federal funds to states to pay for AIDS drugs for uninsured and under-insured
Another is the role pharmaceutical and biotech companies are
playing in supporting lobbying efforts associated with ADAP.
Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chiron Diagnostics, Gilead Sciences Inc. and Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. have joined 11 pharmaceutical companies
in a coalition with AIDS activist groups and state health officials - the ADAP
Future Funding Working Group - to persuade Congress and the White House to increase
spending on ADAP. The coalition has been the driving force behind the White
House's provisional decision to urge Congress to increase its fiscal 1997 appropriation
for the drug purchasing program from $23 million to $65 million.
ADAP co-chair William Arnold told BioCentury that the group is marshalling data to support the request. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are playing a crucial role in developing those data, he said.