Patient Groups letter on updating SAMHSA HIV block grant criteria for states

The undersigned 39 organizations of the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC), a workgroup of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP), write to request inclusion of critical language in the final FY2023 Labor, HHS Appropriations bill that is necessary to expand our efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. As you work to finalize the bill, while ABAC continues to advocate for our coalition’s FY2023 funding requests, we urge you to include language that would modernize the way in which states qualify to be eligible for the HIV set-aside of the Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG).

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HIV/AIDS groups letter in support of MassHealth making injectable long-acting PrEP available without barriers

HIV/AIDS groups are concerned that MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid) has not yet added cabotegravir, a new long-acting injectable form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, to its formulary. We urge MassHealth to make sure injectable long-acting cabotegravir as PrEP is available on formulary without any barriers to access, such as utilization management or prior authorization requirements.

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64 organizations request expedited Medicare National Coverage Determination for long-acting injectable PrEP

We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has accepted a request for a National Coverage Determination (NCD) for cabotegravir, a new long-acting injectable form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV.  A National Coverage Determination is the only pathway to coverage under Medicare Part B for a provider-administered drug.  We have, however, been disappointed to learn that CMS has given no timeline for action on this National Coverage Determination, which will make this new long-acting PrEP medication out of reach for potential PrEP users.  Combined with a USPSTF recommendation, an NCD will also make the drug available to Medicare Part B beneficiaries without cost-sharing, thus eliminating one of the biggest barriers to PrEP uptake.

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Support for New York’s S.5299-A/A.1741-A on copay assistance

The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute is a leading HIV and hepatitis policy organization promoting quality and affordable healthcare for people living with or at risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other serious and chronic health conditions. We strongly support S.5299-A/A.1741-A, which would require health insurers to accept and count payments made on behalf of patients towards deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. We urge you to sign this legislation into law as soon as possible.

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Solutions to improve COVID-19 vaccine access & protect intellectual property

On behalf of the patients we serve who are living with HIV, hepatitis, cancer, lupus, autoimmune diseases, and other serious chronic and complex conditions, we write to share recommendations to address global COVID-19 vaccine equity and access barriers. While we commend the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative for prioritizing efforts to improve vaccine access, it must not come at the expense of waiving intellectual property (IP) protections.  To do so would have unprecedented effects on future medical development.

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