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PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAM WILL PROVIDE DRUGS FOR AIDS AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- State Public Welfare Secretary Karen F. Snider announced that the department today will begin paying for a new drug to treat schizophrenia and 10 additional medications for people with the HIV disease and AIDS.
 Snider said the drugs will be provided through expansion of the department's Special Pharmaceutical Benefits program, initiated in 1987 to distribute federal funds to moderate-income persons who can't afford the high cost of AIDS treatment medications.
 "Without this assistance, many of these individuals would not be able to afford the medications they need," Snider said. The program received $1.1 million in federal Ryan White Emergency Care Act funds this year and $1.4 million in state funds. All federal funding is targeted for the purchase of HIV and AIDS treatment medications.
 Snider said the newly available medications for HIV disease, AIDS and related infections include Videx, Hivid, Zovirax, Foscavir, Cipro, Bactrim/Septra, Dapsone, Mycelex, Nizoral and Diflucan. The program will also continue to pay for Retrovir (AZT), Pentamadine, Alpha- Interferon and Ganciclovir.
 The medication for schizophrenia is clozapine, a new anti-psychotic drug that has proven effective in treating patients whose conditions are resistant to other treatment programs.
 To be eligible for the program, individuals must:
 -- reside in Pennsylvania, but not in any institution where these medications are available.
 -- have an individual income of less than $25,000 or a family income of less than $30,000.
 -- have a medical need for the drug.
 Applications are available from local county assistance offices, AIDS service agencies, hospital social service departments, state health centers, hemophilia and renal dialysis centers, mental health centers and some physicians and pharmacies.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/1/93
 /CONTACT: Matthew J. Jones of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, 717-787-4592/


CO: Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:

MJ -- PH016 -- 1272 02/01/93 10:30 EST
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Date:Feb 1, 1993
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