ViiV Healthcare Acts to Improve Access to HIV Medicines in United States for Those Most in Need
October 12, 2010
Research Triangle Park, NC, October 12, 2010 – ViiV Healthcare will expand its Patient Assistance Program effective January 1, 2011 and continue its Patient Savings Card program to help maintain access to HIV medicines for those most affected by the economic downturn in the United States. Specifically, ViiV Healthcare will launch the ViiV Healthcare Patient Assistance Program with an increased maximum household income level for enrollment and is piloting membership in the Welvista program, a nonprofit program to facilitate access to HIV medications for individuals currently on ADAP waiting lists. Additionally, ViiV Healthcare will extend its Patient Savings Card program for another two years.
Together the patient assistance program and pilot program with Welvista will help maintain access to critical HIV medicines for low-income patients who have now lost access due to changes in ADAP eligibility criteria and ease the difficulty for low-income patients of navigating multiple patient assistance programs. In addition, the extension of the Patient Savings Card program will make it easier for other patients to remain adherent to their prescribed medicines by reducing their out-of-pocket expenses to fill and refill their prescriptions for medicines offered by ViiV Healthcare.
“We recognize this is a time of increasing patient need and this demonstrates our commitment to continue addressing access issues in the United States,” said Bill Collier, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare.
In communities hardest hit by HIV in the US, many patients do not access medicines early enough to fully benefit from them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early and widespread HIV treatment is emerging as a potential component of a comprehensive prevention approach. In addition, a recent study published in The Lancet, found that higher uptake of antiretroviral therapy might reduce HIV transmission considerably in some populations.
“The fear or belief that access to medicines may be interrupted, or that the access to HIV medicines is decreasing may prevent many persons struggling with an HIV diagnoses and its implications from seeking treatment. While we must continue our advocacy for increased federal and state funding for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, these efforts to increase access can help to remove this climate of fear that the meds aren’t as available today,” said Julie Scofield, Executive Director, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
Enhancements to ViiV Healthcare Patient Assistance Program
The ViiV Healthcare Patient Assistance Program will launch January 1, 2011, and will replace the Bridges to Access program administered through GSK for the medicines offered by ViiV Healthcare. ViiV Healthcare has increased the maximum household income level for its patient assistance program from 250% to 500% of the federal poverty level. The program allows advocates or case workers to submit the application on behalf of a patient.
ViiV Enters Into Pilot with Welvista Program
ViiV Healthcare will participate in the Welvista HIV treatment access program on a pilot basis starting in January 2011 for a period of one year. This one-year trial will increase the utility of Welvista’s program by adding all ten HIV medicines offered by ViiV Healthcare to Welvista’s current offerings, allowing low-income patients who meet the eligibility requirements for the ViiV Healthcare Patient Assistance Program to access more of their HIV regimen through a single point of contact.
The Welvista solution was developed by the Heinz Family Philanthropies in response to a call for help from NASTAD (the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors) to find ways to assist patients on ADAP waiting lists and make enrollment simple for patients. It provides a single point of access and mail-order fulfillment to those on ADAP waiting lists for HIV medicines from participating companies. “The addition of ViiV Healthcare to our ADAP solution underscores its commitment and leadership to helping us ensure that no person in need of HIV medicines will be without them,” said Jeffrey Lewis, President of the Heinz Family Philanthropies.
"The participation of ViiV Healthcare is a big step in meeting our goal of having all HIV medicines covered through the program. We invite the other major manufacturers of HIV medicines to join this effort so that this program can ultimately cover all HIV medicines and provide eligible patients access to these life-saving medicines through a single streamlined process," said Ken Trogdon, Chief Executive Officer of Welvista.
Extension of Patient Savings Card Program and Availability in Puerto Rico
Prior to the creation of ViiV Healthcare by GSK and Pfizer, GSK established a pioneering and best-in-class Patient Savings Card program for all its HIV medicine in 2008. This two-year pilot program continued with the launch of ViiV and provides $100 off of out-of-pocket costs each month for each medicine produced by the company. The two-year pilot of the program ends in November 2010. ViiV has decided to extend this program for an additional two years.
This extension allows patients already enrolled into the program to continue the use of their cards through 2012. New patients can also continue to enroll in the program to benefit for up to two years or until the program is discontinued.
Additionally the program is now available in Puerto Rico effective immediately.
For over 17 years Welvista, a nonprofit organization located in Columbia, South Carolina, has been providing access to prescription medications to the uninsured and underserved throughout South Carolina. Welvista partners with 12 branded pharmaceutical companies who donate medications and a network of over 3,000 health care providers making them one of the largest mail-order pharmacies for the uninsured in the nation. In 2009, Welvista filled and dispensed more than 135,000 prescriptions to the uninsured valued at over $47 million. More information can be found at www.welvista.org or by calling 803-933-9183.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Our aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.