National Kidney Foundation Statement on American Patients First: The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

May 14, 2018
 
Quotes for attribution to National Kidney Foundation
 
“The Trump Administration has released its blueprint to help lower costs for prescription drugs and reduce out-of-pocket expenses to patients, a particular challenge faced by kidney patients. Dialysis and transplant recipients rely on prescription medications to keep them alive.  Transplant recipients often face high costs for immunosuppressive drugs and may cut back on, or even skip, doses because they cannot afford their medication; this can be detrimental to the transplant and to the patient.”
 
“The National Kidney Foundation appreciates the Administration’s initial work to address affordability of prescription medications and looks forward to reviewing additional details around each of the policy proposals, and to providing our perspective on the need for lower-cost sharing to help patients afford their life-saving medications.”
 
“The National Kidney Foundation is supportive of policy changes that will lead to greater transparency for patients in understanding the true costs of their prescriptions; which is often confusing when coinsurance, rather than fixed copayments, are used.  However, within the blueprint a reference to potentially changing policies related to Medicare Part D protected drug classes, which includes immunosuppressive drugs, is of great concern.”
 
“It is important that the protected drug classes are left intact as not all of these medications are equal or interchangeable.  The protective policy ensures that the widest combination of drugs is available to clinicians to tailor prescriptions based on the needs of individual patients to avoid organ rejection and mitigate side effects. Congress has consistently supported the protective drug classes provision in a bipartisan manner since the creation of the Part D prescription drug program.”
 
“In addition, it is critical that the Administration consider access, safety and innovation as well as affordability for patients as it develops detailed policy proposals to avoid any unintended or harmful consequences. We look forward to working closely with the Administration as it further refines the policy proposals so that the needs of patients facing life-long challenges, such as dialysis and transplant patients, will be protected.” 
 
Kidney Disease Facts
 
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.  People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
 
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.