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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) Extends Assistance To State AIDS Drug Assistance Programs



10/19/2005 5:13:06 PM

PRINCETON, N.J., March 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced the company will extend its relief efforts for two more years to the state-administered AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) to help address the funding crisis the programs face. Bristol-Myers Squibb has provided, and will continue to provide, millions of dollars in relief to ADAPs during the next two years by supplying the company's complete line of HIV medications and other select products at a reduced cost. This extension will help ensure thousands of low-income, underinsured and uninsured people living with HIV/AIDS maintain access to life-saving antiretroviral medications.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to ensuring people living with HIV/AIDS have access to the medicines they need," said Ron Cooper, senior vice president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Virology. "To reinforce this commitment, we are extending our agreement with the ADAPs to help reach that goal."

ADAPs are not entitlement programs (that is, a patient who meets eligibility criteria is not guaranteed benefits) and, as a result, reduced state and federal appropriations coupled with growing program demands, have led to program restrictions and waiting lists for medicines. With 20 to 25 percent of all HIV medications currently purchased through state ADAPs and the number growing, finding long-term solutions to the funding crisis is critical.

Through this extension, Bristol-Myers Squibb will continue to provide its entire portfolio of HIV medications at a reduced cost to ADAPs through March 2007. This assistance will provide states the opportunity to access the company's once-daily therapies used in combination treatment including REYATAZ(R) (atazanavir sulfate) (100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg), the first once-daily protease inhibitor, and SUSTIVA(R) (efavirenz) (50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 600 mg), the only non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor to be recommended as part of a "preferred regimen" for the initial treatment of HIV by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has worked to be a catalyst for change in the lives of people with HIV/AIDS through a wide range of programs. Through the Patient Assistance Program, the company provides free medications to low-income individuals who do not qualify for prescription drug assistance through public or private sources including ADAPs and Medicaid. This program serves as a final safety net for patients with no means to access medicine.

Internationally, Bristol-Myers Squibb also has several initiatives including SECURE THE FUTURE(R), a five-year, $120 million commitment to help develop local, sustainable programs to address the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS among women and children in sub-Saharan and West African nations.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

Important Information About REYATAZ(R) (atazanavir sulfate) Capsules

REYATAZ is a prescription medicine used in combination with other medicines to treat people who are infected with HIV and has been studied in 48-week trials in both patients who have taken or have never taken anti-HIV medicines. REYATAZ does not cure HIV or prevent passing HIV to others.

REYATAZ should not be taken with the following medicines: ergot medicines, Versed(R), Halcion(R), Orap(R), Propulsid(R), Camptosar(R), Crixivan(R), Mevacor(R), Zocor(R), rifampin, St. John's wort, AcipHex(R), Nexium(R), Prevacid(R), Prilosec(R) or Protonix(R). Viagra(R), Levitra(R), Cialis(R) and Vfend(R) should not be used while taking REYATAZ without first speaking with a healthcare provider. This list of medicines is not complete. The use of all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamin and herbal supplements, or other health preparations should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

The following side effects or conditions should be reported to healthcare providers right away: a change in the way the heart beats may occur and could be a symptom of a heart problem; diabetes and high blood sugar may occur in patients taking protease inhibitor medicines like REYATAZ (atazanavir sulfate); yellowing of the skin and/or eyes may occur due to increases in bilirubin levels in the blood (bilirubin is made by the liver); rash (redness and itching) sometimes occurs in patients taking REYATAZ, most often in the first few weeks after the medicine is started, and usually goes away within two weeks with no change in treatment; in patients with liver disease, including hepatitis B or C, the liver disease may get worse when taking anti- HIV medicines like REYATAZ; and some patients with hemophilia have increased bleeding problems with protease inhibitor medicines like REYATAZ.

Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking anti-HIV medicines. The cause and long-term effects are not known at this time. Common side effects of REYATAZ taken with other anti-HIV medicines include: nausea, headache, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, fever, dizziness, trouble sleeping, numbness, and tingling or burning of hands or feet. REYATAZ should be taken once daily with food (a meal or snack). REYATAZ and other anti-HIV medicines should be taken exactly as instructed by healthcare providers. United States Full Prescribing Information for REYATAZ is available at http://www.reyataz.com/.

Important Information About SUSTIVA(R) (efavirenz) Capsules and Tablets

SUSTIVA is a prescription medicine used in combination with other medicines to treat people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). SUSTIVA does not cure HIV or help prevent passing HIV to others. SUSTIVA should not be taken with Hismanal(R) (astemizole), Propulsid(R) (cisapride), Versed(R) (midazolam), Halcion(R) (triazolam), ergot medicines (for example, Wigraine(R) and Cafergot(R)), or Vfend(R) (voriconazole). This list of medicines is not complete. Patients should discuss all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamin and herbal supplements, or other health preparations (particularly St. John's wort) they are taking or plan to take with their healthcare provider.

Patients taking SUSTIVA (efavirenz) should tell their doctor right away if they have any side effects or conditions including: severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior, which have been reported in a small number of patients. A few reports of suicide have been made, but it is not known if SUSTIVA (efavirenz) was the cause. Dizziness, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and/or unusual dreams are common. These feelings tend to go away after taking SUSTIVA for a few weeks.

Women should not become pregnant or breastfeed while taking SUSTIVA. Serious birth defects have been seen in children of women treated with SUSTIVA during pregnancy. Women must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, such as a condom, even if they also use other methods of birth control. Patients should tell their doctor if they have a history of mental illness or are using drugs or alcohol. Rash is a common side effect that usually goes away without any change in treatment. Rash may be a serious problem in some children. If a child develops a rash, their doctor should be contacted right away. If you have liver disease, have ever had seizures, or are taking medicine for seizures, your healthcare provider may want to do tests to check your liver or check drug levels in your blood.

Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking HIV medicines, however, the cause and long-term effects of these changes are not known at this time. Other common side effects include: tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Taking SUSTIVA with food increases the amount of medicine in the body, which may increase the frequency of side effects. SUSTIVA should be taken on an empty stomach, preferably at bedtime, which may make some side effects less bothersome. SUSTIVA and other anti-HIV medicines should be taken exactly as instructed by healthcare providers. United States Full Prescribing Information for SUSTIVA is available at http://www.sustiva.com/.

For full prescribing information or to obtain more information on SUSTIVA (efavirenz) or REYATAZ (atazanavir sulfate), please visit http://www.sustiva.com/ or http://www.reyataz.com/

REYATAZ(R) is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

SUSTIVA(R) is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company.

F1-DD0022 03/05

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

CONTACT: Eric Miller of Bristol-Myers Squibb, +1-609-252-7981 oreric.miller@bms.com


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