Friday, January 07, 2005

THMP MAC meets

The Texas HIV Medication Program (THMP) Medication Advisory Committee (MAC) met today in Austin to discuss the formulary and budgetary issues.

Two new additions to staff were introduced: Felipe Rocha, MSSW, is now manager of the HIV/STD Comprehensive Services Branch (what used to be the HIV Bureau), and Janna Zumbrun, MSSW, is now manager of the Health Promotion Unit (the next organizational level above the HIV Services Branch).

Robert Kaspar, MD, provided an update on Fuzeon: THMP is currently providing Fuzeon to 50 clients, the maximum possible with current funding. There are 12 clients on the waiting list for Fuzeon. Dr. Kaspar also reported on ongoing discussions regarding the use of ritonavir as a fifth drug in combination therapies; for the time being each request for a five-drug combination will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding appropriations for the coming biennium, Dwayne Haught, MSN, ACRN, reported that the Legislative Appropriations Request for the medication program had been revised to reflect new data. The request is now $11,701,085 for FY 2006-2007. In addition, the Department of State Health Services is requesting the restoration a 5 percent cut imposed by state leadership. THMP's share of that 5 percent cut is $4,171,240. Therefore, the total amount in new state funds needed for the coming biennium will be $15,872,325.

Texas AIDS Network will be sending out action alerts and other advisories to members and interested members of the community. To sign up to receive these alerts, send an email to tan-at-texasaids-dot-net (using the proper email address format, of course).

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