Medi-Cal Adds New FDA-Approved HIV Drug to its Formulary
Medi-Cal will begin covering Viread, an HIV drug recently approved by the FDA, state officials announced yesterday. The AP/Sacramento Bee reports that the drug, known generically as tenofovir, has been added to Medi-Cal's formulary of drugs that may be prescribed by doctors without prior approval. Reimbursement is retroactive to Oct. 26, the day the FDA approved Viread. The drug will most likely be prescribed for individuals "who have not responded well" or developed resistance to other therapies. Medi-Cal now covers all 146 FDA-approved HIV treatments. The drug is also available to beneficiaries of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides medications to people with HIV/AIDS who have annual incomes less than $50,000 (AP/Sacramento Bee, 11/13). Gov. Gray Davis (D) said, "Saving lives by making HIV combatant drugs available quickly will continue to be a priority of my administration" (Office of the Governor release, 11/13).