The prescription co-payment programs run by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will now begin with the first dollar a person pays a pharmacy or mail-order service for his or her Reyataz (atazanavir) or Sustiva (efavirenz) prescriptions. Previously, people with HIV had to cover the first $50 of their co-pay before the BMS programs began to contribute.

Both programs still cover up to $200 a month toward the total cost of co-payments for a regimen containing either Reyataz or Sustiva.  

As before, people residing in Massachusetts are not eligible for the program. Also, people receiving public assistance, such as Medicaid or an AIDS drug assistance program, are not eligible for the co-pay program. However, people with no insurance or limited insurance might qualify for the BMS patient assistance program.

Atripla (which contains efavirenz, tenofovir and emtricitabine) will continue to be a part of the older program for the time being, which asks people to cover the first $50 of their co-pay. Atripla is marketed through a joint venture with Gilead Sciences, and both companies would have to agree to any change to the co-pay program.