Transplantation and Organ Donation

There is an urgent need to increase the number of organs available for transplantation in the United States. Supply has not kept pace with demand. Of the 124,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, almost 102,000 need a kidney, but fewer than 17,000 people receive one each year. Every two hours someone on the waiting list for a transplant dies.

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Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage
Every year, thousands of kidney patients receive a Medicare covered transplant. Medicare benefits, including coverage of immunosuppressive drugs, continue without a time limit for aged or disabled beneficiaries. Kidney recipients who are non-aged or non-disabled retain Medicare eligibility only for 36 months following their transplants. Many EDRD beneficiaries face the challenge of enrolling in private health insurance or otherwise paying for their immunosuppressive medications when coverage ends. Extending Medicare immunosuppressive coverage would improve outcomes and enable more kidney patients to consider transplantation.