MDCH HIV Drug Assistance Program Saves $1.2 Million In 2007

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

October 30, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is pleased to announce that through a variety of cost saving measures, the Michigan Drug Assistance Program (DAP) saved $1.2 million in the first six months of 2007.

"In 2006, the DAP faced an $800,000 budget shortfall for the first time in program history. Creation of a waiting list for persons needing life-saving HIV drugs was a necessity," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "We immediately implemented cost-saving measures to ensure that individuals continued to receive assistance with their drugs."

The Michigan Drug Assistance Program is a prime example of one of the many efficiencies implemented by the Department, Olszewski said.

MDCH implemented formulary management activities in 2006 that included a mandatory generic program (substitution of generic equivalent of brand medication when available) and a step therapy program for certain classes of drugs which ensures that less expensive and therapeutic equivalent medications are used before more expensive therapy.

The DAP has continued to manage the formulary closely in 2007, with additional cost savings steps being taken. In 2007, the DAP has implemented daily dose limits and refill limits to ensure that 80 percent of a medication is used before a refill will be granted. In April 2007, the DAP instituted a specialty medication program with Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy for some specialty medications and/or other high cost medications.

For more information about the Michigan Drug Assistance Program, please contact Chris Hanson at 1-888-826-6565.

Experts in HIV/AIDS, STD and Health Disparities will be meeting at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti, on November 1 & 2, 2007 to discuss current trends on this and other related issues.