Press release

American Kidney Fund commends Congress for including vital immunosuppressive drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients in end-of-year legislative package

ROCKVILLE, Md. (December 22, 2020) — The following statement may be attributed to LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund:

"The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends Congress for approving a legislative package that includes giving kidney transplant recipients comprehensive immunosuppressive drug coverage. AKF and all Ambassadors in the AKF Advocacy Network have worked diligently for years on this lifesaving legislation which extends Medicare coverage for all kidney transplant recipients, regardless of age, to cover their immunosuppressive drugs for life.

"Kidney transplant recipients must maintain access to immunosuppressive drugs — also known as antirejection drugs — to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ and having to go back on dialysis to survive. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 70% of kidney transplant programs reported either a death or transplant loss because patients were unable to pay for their antirejection medications.

"Thanks to Congress — and the kidney community who continuously advocated alongside AKF for the passage of this legislation — all kidney transplant recipients will now be able to maintain consistent coverage for their immunosuppressive drugs and live longer, healthier lives.

"We also applaud Congress for including two other crucial provisions for kidney patients in the package: protecting patients from surprise medical bills by requiring providers and insurers to dispute and settle claims directly; and ensuring access to Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for critical services including dialysis treatment and COVID-19 testing. Currently, end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients account for two-thirds of NEMT rides."

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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