Legislation Introduced to Help Organ Transplant Patients

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Scott Brown (R-MA) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation announced. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act would assist thousands of Americans under the age of 65 who are being cut off from Medicare after 36 months by extending coverage of essential immunosuppressive drugs for the life of a kidney transplant.

"The National Kidney Foundation commends Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Cochran (R-MS) for their leadership on this critically important legislation. This bill will ensure that thousands of Americans can keep the transplants they have, allow thousands more to be transplanted and reduce the need for re-transplants of people who can no longer pay for vital medication and end up back on dialysis and the transplant waiting list. This legislation is a major first step towards achieving the goal of the National Kidney Foundation's END THE WAIT! initiative to find solutions to the organ shortage and eliminate the all-too-long wait for a transplant," said Lynda Szczech, MD, National Kidney Foundation President.

NKF's Government Relations staff is conducting meetings with numerous congressional offices in the coming weeks to gain support for the "Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2011." A companion bill will be introduced soon by Representatives Burgess (R-TX) and Kind (D-WI). We we urge everyone to write to local Senators and Congressmen to support this bill. For assistance in drafting the letter and contact information for your delegation, contact Troy Zimmerman at Troyz@kidney.org.