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Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Stop Price Increases for H.I.V. and AIDS Prescriptions

Last summer we reported on the prohibitive costs of AIDS and H.I.V. drugs in America. Due to high drug prices, plus overcrowded and inefficient AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, individuals suffering from these diseases live in fear, not knowing if they will get the meds they need. Sadly, the problem has gotten worse.

A recent discussion on an AIDS/H.I.V. community web forum is what caught our attention. In that forum’s thread entitled “Links to Stop White House from Blocking Online Pharmacies”, outspoken members have voiced outrage over recent price hikes of critical HIV medications.

As reported by the AIDS and H.I.V. advocacy website and monthly magazine, Gilead Sciences, a major manufacturer of AIDS and H.I.V. prescription drugs, has increased prices for its top HIV medications. “Atripla increased by 5.1 percent, and Truvada and Emtriva increased by 7.9 percent.” Comparing prices for these drugs at a local New York bricks and mortar pharmacy to licensed and verified foreign pharmacies, one finds substantial price discrepancies:

Drug Prices for a Three-Month Supply

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Access Tightens to Affordable AIDS and H.I.V. Drugs in U.S.; Lower Prices Available Abroad

We recently wrote on prescription assistance programs, though the focus was primarily on uninsured and underinsured seniors. This week we shift that focus to the H.I.V. and AIDS populations.

According to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the H.I.V. and AIDS populations are suffering more than ever when it comes to carrying the burden of prescription costs, due to our failing economy and poorly financed healthcare. H.I.V. and AIDS patients – who, on average, have annual drug bills of $12,000, are being dropped from their prescription assistance programs, told that their state’s programs are capped or closed, or placed on a seemingly endless waitlist for assistance. What’s more, as enrollment for drug assistance has increased (12% from 2008 to 2009 according to the New York Times), government funding has stayed more or less the same. (more…)

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