National Kidney Foundation Applauds House Passage of Landmark Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bill
by the National Kidney Foundation
"The National Kidney Foundation applauds the passage of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act in the U.S House of Representatives earlier today.
"With transplant patients suffering disproportionately from the adverse effects of COVID-19, this legislation is more critical now than ever. Patients must be reassured that they will have access to their live-saving immunosuppressive drugs and that they will not need to worry about skipping doses because they can't afford the costs.
"We sincerely thank Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) for working so closely with us to put patients first and for their efforts to extend the 36-month window of drug coverage provided by Medicare. We look forward to working with them to ensure the swift passage of the broader comprehensive bill.
"We also are very appreciative of the support and assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the immunosuppressive extension and applaud Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for prioritizing this important legislation.
"We sincerely thank the NKF grass roots advocates from across the country who have written thousands of letters and attended hundreds of meetings with their Members of Congress urging that this life-saving legislation be enacted. These efforts helped generate 111 additional House cosponsors for the immunosuppressive legislation.
"This critical legislation will not only save lives, but multiple estimates from the Congressional Budget Office expect it to save taxpayers millions of dollars. We look forward to passage in the Senate and the prompt enactment of this lifesaving legislation."
For a patient's perspective on how a lack of Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs affects a family see Bobbie's story.
About Kidney Disease
Approximately 750,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. More than 500,000 of these patients receive dialysis at least three times per week to replace kidney function. Nearly 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant right now. Depending on where a patient lives, the average wait time for a kidney transplant can be upwards of three to seven years. Living organ donation not only saves lives, it saves money. Each year, Medicare spends approximately $89,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $35,000, for a transplant patient.
About National Kidney Foundation Living Organ Donation Resources:
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