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Merck and The ADAP Crisis Task Force Announce Key Initiatives to Help Provide Funding Relief to AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) across the U.S.
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Price Freeze of ISENTRESS® (raltegravir) tablets for ADAPs Through 2013 and Acceleration of Rebate Payments to States among Important Initiatives Highlighted
Press release by Merck & NASTAD
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., May 5, 2010 -Today, Merck & Co., Inc., and the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF) announced a series of key initiatives to help struggling state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) continue to provide people living with HIV access to medicines.
The ACTF is pleased that, among these initiatives, Merck is:
- Extending the price freeze of ISENTRESS® that was first established with the ACTF in 2008 to eligible ADAPs through Dec. 31, 2013.
- Extending the price freeze on CRIXIVAN (indinavir sulfate) capsules that was first established with the ACTF in 2003 to eligible ADAPs through Dec. 31, 2013.
- Working with the ACTF to provide expanded financial relief to eligible ADAPs through increased discounts for ISENTRESS and CRIXIVAN.
- Expediting the processing of state rebate claims to speed up rebate payments to eligible ADAPs.
- Working with the National Alliance of State and Territorial Directors (NASTAD) to find solutions to provide technical assistance to ADAP programs.
Expansion of Special Pricing Program for ISENTRESS and CRIXIVAN and extension of price freeze to eligible ADAPs through 2013
The ACTF, a group of state ADAP and AIDS directors that is convened by NASTAD, requested that drug companies consider implementation of cost control measures, such as a price freeze of HIV drugs to ADAPs to help mitigate the current financial crises. In response, Merck established an expanded Special Pricing Program for its HIV medicines for eligible ADAPs. The expanded Special Pricing Programs for ISENTRESS and CRIXIVAN will begin July 1, 2010 and extend through Dec. 31, 2013. The price freeze extension follows Merck's earlier agreement with the ACTF in 2008 to freeze the price of ISENTRESS to eligible ADAPs at its launch price. The extension of its price freeze on CRIXIVAN to eligible ADAPs will also last through Dec. 31, 2013. When it announced its voluntary price freeze in 2003, Merck was the first company to freeze the price of an anti-retroviral (ARV) drug to ADAPs. Merck will reassess these programs in 2014, after implementation of the U.S. government's newly expanded Medicaid program and subsidized private health insurance plans mandated by health care reform legislation (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
Fast pay of rebates and technical assistance
In addition to the expanded Special Pricing Program for ISENTRESS and CRIXIVAN, Merck is committed to assisting eligible ADAPs with cash flow and to reducing the number of patients waiting to receive treatment. As such, the Company has changed its existing state invoice payment process to accelerate the payment of Merck rebates to eligible ADAPs.
Merck's patient assistance programs in the U.S.
Merck's commitment to patients' access to its products is evidenced through its HIV SUPPORT program, which helps patients who have been prescribed ISENTRESS or CRIXIVAN by providing personalized support and patient advocacy regarding individual reimbursement issues. The SUPPORT program also offers patient assistance, which may include providing ISENTRESS or CRIXIVAN free of charge to eligible patients. Information about the SUPPORT Program can be obtained by calling 1-800-850-3430 or at
Patients who are on ADAP waiting lists or who are awaiting ADAP approval may be eligible to receive ISENTRESS or CRIXIVAN for free through the SUPPORT program.
Merck's co-pay assistance program
In addition to the SUPPORT Program, Merck has a co-pay assistance program in the U.S. for eligible patients on ISENTRESS who are commercially insured and have co-pays or coinsurance above $30, up to $400 per prescription. With this program, eligible patients can receive savings off their out-of-pocket costs for 12 prescriptions prior to the programs expiration in July 2011. Information about the co-pay assistance program can be obtained by calling 866-350-9232 or at
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