The AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and Howard Brown Health ( HBH ) have confirmed that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services ( HFS ) has removed Atripla from the preferred drug list in an effort to reduce costs.
Atripla was the only single-tablet regimen ( STR ) HIV medication covered under the Illinois Medicaid program's preferred drug list. New patients enrolling in Fee-For-Service, administered by the Medicaid program within HFS, will be denied access to any STR without undergoing the prior authorization process.
"Not covering the newest HIV drugs under Medicaid, and restricting access to Atripla, denies highly vulnerable, low-income people with HIV access to the newest and most effective treatments," said Ramon Gardenhire, AIDS Foundation of Chicago's vice president of policy and advocacy, in a statement.
"Increasing access to single-pill HIV medications will save Illinois money by reducing hospitalizations and improving overall health outcomes," he added. "It will also drastically improve the lives and productivity of people living with HIV, as well as reduce additional transmissions. We urge Medicaid to immediately cover HIV medications without bureaucratic prior authorization requirements."