The work done by the Community Access National Network (CANN) is immensely important, but without the support of other organizations with similar goals our efforts would not be nearly as meaningful. A combination of non-profit and government organizations (Community Partners), and pharmaceutical companies (Industry Partners) engage members of Congress with us, through coalitions and working groups, to instigate the creation, implementation, and maintenance of meaningful HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis policy.
By confronting our nation's leaders as a unified group we are able to bring about necessary changes to benefit the underserved and underrepresented individuals that are in need of treatment.
Our Community Partners come from a variety of health related focuses. Whether they specialize in housing programs, infectious disease, prevention, or serving low income underserved populations, we all agree that HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis should be a necessary focus for our government. With the advancements in treatment since HIV/AIDS first emerged in the early 1980's, HIV infected individuals are capable of managing the disease as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal disease.
Unfortunately not all people living with HIV-infection are capable of paying for medications. We strive to ensure all Americans in need of treatment are capable of receiving it. After all, treatment of HIV is prevention. Additionally, our work to improve to access to care and treatments for Hepatitis is equally important. HCV infection is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States; approximately 3.2 million persons are chronically infected. Approximately 12,000 people die every year from HCV-related liver disease.
The number of HCV-related deaths per year has outnumbered those dying from AIDS. But like the medical breakthroughs of the 1990s with the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral treatments to combat HIV/AIDS, there are new treatments emerging on the HCV front.
Our Industry Partners have played a significant role facilitating access to medications through the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) over the last decade. As the federal share of the ADAP Earmark has decreased, pharmaceutical discounts and rebates have increased to sustain the program. In 2009 pharmaceutical rebates accounted for approximately 30% of ADAP funding, as well as saving the US government over $1 billion through pharmaceutical discounts.
In the recent economic recession many pharmaceutical companies have united to grant people living with HIV-infection access to medications when they have been put on ADAP waiting lists, free of charge with minimal hassle. CANN strives to replicate the successes in working with pharmaceutical companies on the new treatments emerging on the HCV front.