Monday, October 31, 2005

Katrina Evacuees Get Meds in Texas

In a meeting with staff from the Department of State Health Services today, we learned that the Texas HIV Medication Program currently has 177 clients enrolled under the emergency provisions put in place for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. All of these clients come to Texas from Louisiana. The total expenditures for their medications thus far has been $104,683. All of this will be reimbursed by pharmaceutical manufacturing companies with in-kind donations.

Unfortunately, the agreement under which reimbursement from the manufacturing companies will occur expires today. This means that the cost of these new clients will either be borne by THMP or reimbursed from some other source. The two possible sources of reimbursement seem to be Louisiana's AIDS Drug Assistance Program or FEMA.

If there is no reimbursement and if all of these clients remain in Texas, the cost to the Texas HIV Medication Program will reach nearly $2 million through the biennium (2006-2007) which began on September 1. Since the program is already projecting a $6 million shortfall by the end of FY 2007, the need to find reimbursement becomes even more urgent. As we are fond of telling legislators, 'THMP is not a Cadillac program." Neither is it a fat one.

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