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AIDS Treatment News
California: Medi-Cal Can Pay for Human Growth Hormone for
John S. James
August 4, 1995
AIDS Treatment News Issue #228, August 4, 1995

As this issue goes to press, AIDS Treatment News has heard that Medi-Cal will pay for human growth hormone through the Serono treatment IND, for some patients, starting August 1. Serono will start processing Medi-Cal applications on that date. Physicians and patients will still apply for the program in the same way, by calling the Serono phone number below, as Serono handles the reimbursement paperwork.

To qualify for the Serono program (regardless of whether or not one is applying for Medi-Cal reimbursement), a physician must determine that a patient has AIDS-related wasting, with loss of at least 10% of body weight. The patient must be on antiretroviral treatment, and must be 18 or older. Until recently, the program also required the patient to fail both Megace and Marinol, which are FDA-approved for wasting; but due to a recent protocol amendment, patients now must only fail one of those drugs, and that requirement can be waived if the physician determines that both of them are medically contraindicated.

In order to enroll patients, a physician must first qualify as a site with Serono. Later, less paperwork is required to add each individual patient. Physicians should begin the process by calling the Serostim Information Line, 800/714- AIDS (800/714-2437).

Patients also can call this number for information.

Comment As is often the case in AIDS care and activism, a number of people behind the scenes deserve particular credit for making this potentially life-saving treatment more available.