Celebrating 10 Years of Public Health System Strengthening in Zambia

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program

Like all organizations, NASTAD Global goes through cycles – cycles of staffing, cycles of scopes of work, and cycles of funding. In 2015, we approach a convergence of these cycles, and as some new opportunities are emerging, we are also finding that some existing work must end. As of March 31, 2015, the outcomes of NASTAD Global’s HIV health systems strengthening assistance for national government partners in Zambia will have been integrated into government structures and we will close the doors to our Zambia office.

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Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient Assistance Programs and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

Patient Assistance ProgramsThe treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and/or restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face in accessing health care services.  Continue reading

How Meaningful Community Engagement Can Help End HIV

By Maria Courogen, Director, Office of Infectious Disease, Washington State Department of Health

Maria Courogen, Washington State Department of Health

Maria Courogen, Washington State Department of Health

As I began my tenure as NASTAD’s chair in May 2014, I was reminded of the great work that my immediate predecessors, Dawn Fukuda—Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health—and Randy Mayer—Chief of the Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis for the Iowa Department of Public Health—led during their time at the helm. It was a privilege to serve as an officer during both of their terms, as Randy created conversation regarding HIV criminalization and Dawn discussed the transformative power of the Affordable Care Act in the fight against HIV. The themes and work that resulted have pushed us further toward our shared mission of raising the bars as we strive to reach the goals laid out by the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy across all of our jurisdictions, for all populations. Continue reading

ADAP Crisis Task Force Announces Groundbreaking Agreement with AbbVie for Hepatitis C Treatment Viekira Pak™

ADAP Crisis Task Force Announces Groundbreaking Agreement with AbbVie for Hepatitis C Treatment Viekira Pak 

Contact:  Britten Pund

AbbVieJanuary 15, 2015, Washington, DC – The ADAP Crisis Task Force (Task Force) has reached a new pricing agreement between AbbVie and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) for Viekira Pak (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets) for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). AbbVie is the first company to offer a discount on the ADAP price of an HCV medication in the era of new curative HCV treatments. The agreed-upon ADAP price for Viekira Pak, negotiated between the Task Force and AbbVie, reflects voluntary discounts and rebates that are significantly lower than the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC).  While many ADAPs may not be able to add Viekira Pak to their formularies due to fiscal constraints, this agreement recognizes the importance of access to hepatitis C medications for people living with HIV and demonstrates good faith that access at a discounted price may lead to formulary inclusion. ADAPs make individual decisions about adding new medications to their formularies. Continue reading

The Unspoken Legacy of Governor Mario M. Cuomo

By Julie M. Scofield, Executive Director, NASTAD

Former Governor Mario CuomoWhile some may choose to remember former Governor Mario M. Cuomo for the two chartered airplanes on the tarmac in December 1991 and a legacy lacking a signature initiative, I choose to remember the late Governor for setting the stage for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State.” What has yet to be said in the news of Governor Cuomo’s passing is that in addition to a recession and divided legislature, Governor Mario M. Cuomo led New York State at the height of the AIDS epidemic when there was very little to offer those who were sick and dying rapidly. In 1983 when Governor Cuomo took office very little was known about AIDS – the case definition had just come out in September of 1982. By the end of Governor Cuomo’s first year in office, New York State had 1,373 cumulative cases of AIDS, 44.8% of the national total reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by that time. Continue reading