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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Subsidizing Medications to Facilitate Cessation in Telephone Counseling Programs

Vance Rabius, PhD1, Todd E. Hill, LiCSW, LADC2, Philip Huang, MD, MPH3, Ferdinando A. Gatto4, Dawn Wiatrek1, Joseph Hunter1, and Teri Christensen, RN5. (1) Health Promotions, American Cancer Society, 1825-B Kramer Lane, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758, (2) Tobacco Control, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, PO Box 70, Burlington, VT 05402, (3) Health Promotion Unit, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 W. 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756, (4) Delaware Division of Public Health, PO Box 637, Dover, DE 19903, (5) Tobacco Control Program, South Dakota Department of Health, 615 E. Fourth Street, Pierre, SD 57501

Objective: In recent years several states have subsidized cessation medications contingent upon continued participation in telephone counseling to increase utilization and improve tobacco cessations rates. However, budgetary constraints have not allowed any state to provide fully subsidized (free) medications to assist cessation to everyone on a permanent basis. States which have subsidized medications have taken different approaches to the process. A panel discussion of the methods and related outcomes taken by four states will help others determine how they may want to offer similar assistance to their residents.

Methods: All four states participating in the panel provide subsidized medications to eligible residents contingent upon passing a medical screening and continued participation in telephone counseling. Other criteria are applied as indicated.

South Dakota has used three different levels of subsidy.. Initially free NRT was provided for several hi-risk groups only. Then NRT and bupropion were provided free to everyone and finally both are provided to everyone with a 50% co pay.

Texas provides free NRT for everyone in comprehensive pilot area and to anyone state-wide who is fax-referred by physician.

Vermont provides everyone free or reduced cost NRT. By coordinating the program with insurance coverage 85% of Vermonters are able to get free NRT.

Delaware makes free NRT available to only those who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.

Results: The panelists from Vermont, Texas, and Delaware will discuss their programs' implementation, rationale, utilization, and quit rates statewide or among targeted special populations. Dr Rabius will discuss the South Dakota program.