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ASN applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for amending the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, including kidney transplant recipients. 

Investigators discovered that kidney failure symptoms tended to increase or remain unchanged between transplant evaluation and transplantation; however, three months after transplantation, 9 of 11 symptoms lessened.

Bipartisan bill has been ASN's top legislative priority since 2009

Congress is passing the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act as part of priority year-end package.

This legislation extends Medicare coverage of live-saving immunosuppressive medications for kidney transplant patients for the life of the kidney transplant. Currently coverage is restricted to 36 months post transplant: patients who cannot obtain private coverage and are unable to afford the medications lose their transplanted kidney and return to dialysis. About 375 people annually are estimated to lose their kidney transplant because they cannot afford immunosuppressives.

Zachary Kribs is the ASN Government Affairs Specialist

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Wednesday, January 8th, on the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019, advancing a long-standing legislative priority of the American Society of Nephrology.

The legislation, introduced in late December by Representative Ron Kind and Representative Michael Burgess, along with three other original sponsors, would allow Medicare to pay for immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients for the lifetime of the organ transplant. Medicare currently reimburses immunosuppressive drug coverage for only 36 months, leaving many individuals who cannot afford other coverage at risk of losing the transplanted kidney. The legislation is a top priority of ASN and has been the focus of several advocacy initiatives, including Kidney Community Advocacy Day convened by ASN in November 2019.