March 5, 1997
GOVERNOR'S BUDGET CONTINUES FUNDING COMMITMENT FOR EXPANDED HIV/AIDS DRUG ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- Gov. Jim Edgar today proposed a $190 million Fiscal Year 1998 budget for the Illinois Department of Public Health that includes millions more dollars to fund expanded drug assistance program for thousands of Illinoisans with HIV and AIDS.
"This budget proposal funds one of the most comprehensive HIV or AIDS drug assistance programs in the country," the Governor said. "New drug combinations have shown remarkable success in treating persons with HIV and AIDS. Through this program, we will provide these life enhancing drugs to those with the most financial need allowing them to continue leading independent, productive lives."
The budget request recommends $91.3 million in general revenue funds, a 1 percent increase from current fiscal year levels.
A supplemental appropriation signed by the Governor in February expanded the department's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to include 61 drugs, up from the current 28, including the most effective new class of medicines called protease inhibitors.
The Governor's 1998 budget request of $15.8 million for ADAP builds on this year's program expansion and represents nearly three times the amount spent on the program just two years ago.
The expanded program will pay for drugs costs up to $1,000 a month for about 1,550 clients, up from the current caseload of 1,300 persons. To be eligible, a person must be diagnosed with AIDS or HIV infection, have a monthly income no more than two tiimes the federal poverty level, and must not receive coverage for prescription drugs through insurance or other government subsidies.
"The use of protease inhibitors in conjunction with other AIDS medicines has demonstrated an impressive ability to bolster the immune system of a person with AIDS or HIV," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "By making all of the latest drug therapies available, we are helping needy Illinoisans access medicines that offer hope for living with HIV."
A total of $31.7 million in state and federal appropriations is earmarked for AIDS education, prevention and treatment programs, an increase of $10.5 million from the initial budget for fiscal 1997.
The Department of Public Health budget also includes $2 million for a breast and cervical cancer screening program that is part of First Lady Brenda Edgar's initiative to improve women's health. The money will be used to provide cancer screening services to more than 11,000 low-income women over 50 years of age in 40 targeted counties.
"We know prevention and early treatment for cancer can save many lives each year," the Governor said. "Brenda's women's health initiative will make sure eligible women receive the necessary awareness, guidance and services."
Other budget highlights include:
$10.4 million in grants to 91 local health departments for basic health protection and prevention activities, including an additional $131,600 for new certified health departments in Champaign and Clark counties.
$225,000 to preserve 6.5 million Illinois birth certificates dating to 1916.
$3.9 million to buy and distribute medical preparations, including vaccines, to prevent the spread of disease.
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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