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NEW YORK CITY PROVIDING AEROSOLIZED PENTAMIDINE TO AIDS PATIENTS

Executive Summary

NEW YORK CITY PROVIDING AEROSOLIZED PENTAMIDINE TO AIDS PATIENTS through specifically designated AIDS treatment centers, according to a recent announcement by Mayor Edward Koch. The city has allotted $ 2.6 mil. for the program during the fiscal year that began July 1. The program includes distribution of aerosolized pentamidine (Lyphomed's Nebupent) and other treatments as well as patient care. Four multidisciplinary AIDS treatment teams went into operation July 17. The city is already providing aerosolized pentamidine on a limited basis. In addition, it has provided AZT (Burroughs Wellcome's Retrovir) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, marketed as Bactrim by Roche and Septra by Burroughs Wellcome. Since 1986, about 1,200 residents have received AZT through city programs. Both AZT and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole will continue to be provided through the new treatment centers plan, which is aimed at increasing the city's ability to provide drugs in ambulatory care settings. Services will be provided "regardless of a person's ability to pay." The program was designed by the New York City government based on recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control on the prevention and treatment of AIDS-related pneumocystic carinii pneumonia ("The Pink Sheet," June 19, p. 3). The guidelines include clinical criteria on when to provide aerosolized pentamidine and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole to pneumonia patients. Aerosolized pentamadine was approved by FDA June 15. According to a project description, "each of the four teams being announced today is expected to be able to accommodate over 3,000 visits a year, and, when fully in place, the four teams will be handling a caseload of 600 people. Each team will be fully equipped to meet all of an individual's primary care needs." Each team will consist of a physician, a physician's assistant, a nurse, a caseworker, a lab technician and other support staff such as pharmacists and medical records technicians. The team will operate out of three facilities: North Central Bronx Hospital, Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital, and Queens' Elmhurst Hospital.
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