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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) thanks the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for adding hepatitis C medications to the list of drugs available under the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which ensures that people living with HIV have access to life-saving treatments. The IDPH decision is especially significant given that about one-third of people living with HIV are co-infected with HCV.
The five drugs added to the ADAP formulary, effective Feb. 10, include:
Making these medications accessible to people living with HIV is a major step forward in the effort to cure hepatitis C infection, prevent chronic liver disease and halt the transmission of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These five new medications will be available to 100 ADAP-eligible clients in a pilot program after they complete an IDPH approval form that will be posted on the IDPH website.
According to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, 31 ADAPs in the U.S. currently cover some form of HCV treatment, while up to 14 cover some form of the newer, curative treatments.
As we applaud IDPH for increasing access to these new drugs, we urge the Illinois Medicaid program to review and change their hepatitis C access and treatment guidelines, which are the most restrictive in the nation. We also urge pharmaceutical companies to address astronomical drug pricing that too often keeps life-saving medications out of reach for people who desperately need them. The high cost of pharmaceuticals forces states and private insurance plans to place deadly, restrictive guidelines on who can get their HCV cured.
To find out if you’re eligible for coverage under ADAP, call 800-825-3518 for more information.