National Kidney Foundation Statement on the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2016

September 22, 2016 - Quotes for attribution to Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation (NKF)

“The National Kidney Foundation would like to express its support for the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2016 recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Representative Ron Kind (D-WI). Extending Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients is a critical step to ensuring a patient’s best chance of success post-transplant.”

“Helping transplant recipients obtain the daily medications necessary to reduce the likelihood of organ rejection is not only what’s best for the patient long-term, it’s what best for Medicare long-term.  Kidney transplantation significantly reduces Medicare expenditures compared to the costs associated with caring for a patient on dialysis.” 

 “As a kidney transplant recipient myself, I can tell you that for many patients the costs of immunosuppressive medication can be prohibitive, and it just isn’t something you can skip. There are 100,000 people on the kidney transplantation wait list and a severe shortage of donated kidneys available.  With an average wait time of five years for a transplant, public policy makers and the transplant community must do everything possible to provide, and maintain, coverage for transplant recipients.” 

“The legislation introduced by Representatives Burgess and Kind would extend transplant recipients’ Medicare eligibility for immunosuppressive drugs only if they do not have some other form of health coverage that already includes this benefit.” 

“Congress previously eliminated the 36-month time limit for coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for aged and disabled Medicare beneficiaries. Now it’s time to extend the same benefit to all Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 65 if they do not otherwise have coverage, including incremental steps if necessary. NKF commends Representative Burgess and Representative Kind for their leadership with this effort.”

For a copy of the joint press release for Representatives Burgess and Kind go to: http://burgess.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398168

Kidney Disease Facts

1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. 26 million American adults have kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+. People of African American; Hispanic; Native American, Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure.  

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney diseaseFor more information about the NKF visit www.kidney.org

Publication Date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016