Keeping Transplanted Kidneys Working

New legislation to protect kidney transplant recipients introduced by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and endorsed by ASN on Thursday, September 22 aims to ensure patient access to the medications needed to keep transplanted kidneys healthy. 

“ASN strongly supports this bipartisan legislation and is committed to working with our congressional champions and the entire kidney and transplant community in advocating for passage of this important bill,” said ASN President Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN. 

New legislation to protect kidney transplant recipients introduced by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and endorsed by ASN on Thursday, September 22 aims to ensure patient access to the medications needed to keep transplanted kidneys healthy. 

“ASN strongly supports this bipartisan legislation and is committed to working with our congressional champions and the entire kidney and transplant community in advocating for passage of this important bill,” said ASN President Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN. 

“More than 100,000 Americans are wait-listed for a kidney, and 12 Americans die each day waiting for a kidney transplant.  This crucial legislation will help maintain the health of transplant recipients by ensuring access to immunosuppressive drugs,” he added.

Filling the Gap

While Medicare covers a lifetime of dialysis, kidney transplant recipients lose their Medicare coverage 36 months after transplant. Lifetime access to anti-rejection medications would decrease the risk of losing the new kidney due to lack of access to these crucial drugs. 

“Patients should not have to sacrifice quality care due to the federal policy that denies coverage for anti-rejection drugs after 36 months. I am pleased to join Representative Kind in reintroducing this common sense, bipartisan policy that will safeguard both patients and taxpayer dollars by preventing more costly alternatives such as organ rejection or return to dialysis,” said Rep. Burgess, a physician.

“Our organ transplant patients and their families should not be concerned about an arbitrary federal policy denying them access to medications that help them keep their transplanted kidney,” said Rep. Kind. “The legislation Rep. Burgess and I have introduced will provide kidney transplant patients continued access to medication to ensure the success of their transplant, while keeping health care costs down by decreasing the need for further dialysis and the likelihood of a re-transplant.”

Making this Bill a Reality

This legislation is a top priority for ASN, and the society will be working closely with Rep. Burgess and Rep. Kind in the coming months to rally Congressional support for this legislation.   

Send your questions or feedback to info@kidneynews.org

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