NKF Rallies the Kidney Community on May 1, 2014

Washington, DC (May 1, 2014) – Today, the National Kidney Foundation will join 14 other leading kidney organizations to push for essential change in kidney care.

Participants in Kidney Community Advocacy Day; representing professionals, kidney patients and their families; will meet with government leaders to discuss two issues that will improve the treatment and quality of life for millions of Americans: increasing federal investment in kidney research, and extending lifetime immunosuppressive drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients.

Funding Innovation, Improving Lives
Research and innovation are critical to advancing new therapies for the more than 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease. Kidney Community Advocacy Day participants will campaign for an additional $150 million per year for 10 years in additional kidney research funding to spur innovation. This funding is needed to help develop new therapies that enhance patients' lives and ultimately cure this public health burden.

Immunosuppressive Coverage—A Common Sense Choice
Kidney transplant recipients must take immunosuppressive drugs to maintain the health of their transplants. Currently, Medicare only covers the cost of these drugs for 36 months. Those who cannot afford to pay for the immunosuppressive drugs (approximately $4,000 per year) end up back on dialysis (the government spends approximately $90,000 a year for care for patients on dialysis). Extending Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs over a recipient's lifetime is the common sense solution, improving quality of life for people with kidney disease and saving taxpayer dollars.

Leaders participating in Kidney Community Advocacy Day know what's at stake:

  • More than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, the 9th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Approximately 430,000 Americans are on dialysis and approximately 185,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
  • More than 100,000 Americans are on the wait list for a kidney transplant.
  • ESRD patients account for nearly 7% of Medicare costs but less than 1% of Medicare patients—a total of nearly $35 billion annually.
  • Nearly 28% of Medicare expenditures involve patients diagnosed with kidney disease.

The National Kidney Foundation is pleased to give voice to the more than 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease through its participation in Kidney Community Advocacy Day.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.