Week ending: June 14, 2019
By: Sable K. Nelson
HIV/AIDS groups criticize Express Scripts for excluding several HIV medicines
“A recent decision by one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the U.S. to exclude several HIV medicines from its list of drugs eligible for insurance coverage has angered AIDS advocacy groups, which argue the move may harm patients. In two separate actions over the past few months, Express Scripts excluded seven HIV medicines for anyone starting treatment. The pharmacy benefit manager explained that less expensive alternatives are available and its decisions were supported by clinical guidelines. The company also noted the drugs remaining on its national formulary appear on federal guidelines for most patients. The moves, nonetheless, prompted an angry response.” For more information, READ.
House votes to block Trump administration’s ban on fetal tissue research
The House voted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 to block the Trump administration’s move to end human fetal tissue research by government scientists, a direct challenge to the White House that will be tested in the Republican-led Senate. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, sponsored the amendment to a sweeping spending bill. The amendment targets President Trump’s policy requiring federally funded research using fetal tissue from elective abortions to undergo separate screenings by an ethics advisory board. Pocan’s measure restricted funding to set up such panels. The amendment passed 225 to 193, largely along party lines with all Republicans and three antiabortion Democrats — Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Ben McAdams (Utah) and Collin C. Peterson (Minn.) — voting against it. For more information, READ.
July Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Announced
The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA or the Council) will be holding the 64th full Council meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. Members will hear a panel presentation regarding Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America and will discuss possible recommendations regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective, prevention, treatment and cure of HIV disease and AIDS. The meeting will be open to the public; a public comment session will be held during the meeting.
Pre-registration is encouraged for members of the public who wish to attend the meeting and who wish to participate in the public comment session. Individuals who wish to attend the meeting and/or send in their public comment via email should send an email to Caroline Talev, MPA at Caroline.Talev@hhs.gov. Pre-Registration must be complete by Monday, July 1, 2019.
DATES: The Council meeting is scheduled to convene on Monday, July 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET and Tuesday, July 9 from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (times are tentative and subject to change). The meeting agenda will be posted on the PACHA webpage. Public attendance is limited to available space. For more information, READ.
What You Can Do
TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal funding for HIV prevention and care. Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet with your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will? Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.
- Find your U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Find your U.S. Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
What NMAC is Doing About It
- NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY20 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
- NMAC is working in coalition to defend the right of people living with HIV to serve in the US military.