Thursday, June 30, 2005

How do you spell stupid?

"Medicaid beneficiaries living with HIV/AIDS in Mississippi are about to be denied access to medications they need to stay alive.

A law that takes effect tomorrow, July 1, limits Mississippi Medicaid beneficiaries to two brand-name drugs. But controlling HIV infection requires three drugs, and all of them are brand name.

Gov. Haley Barbour has not responded to a letter, written two weeks ago by HIVMA Board of Directors Chair Paul Volberding, MD, imploring him to change the policy.

'The Mississippi Medicaid program's two brand-name prescription drug limit leaves Mississippi's poorest and sickest residents with no options other than substandard HIV care,' Dr. Volberding wrote. 'Substandard care for people with AIDS has deadly consequences,' he added. The virus mutates and becomes resistant to treatment. Patients who were living normal, productive lives get sicker and die."

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