ROCKVILLE, Md. (November 16, 2020) — The following statement may be attributed to LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund (AKF):
"The American Kidney Fund is pleased with the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) scoring of H.R. 5534, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2020, which estimates the bill will reduce direct federal spending on Medicare benefits for some kidney transplant patients by $400 million over 10 years.
"H.R. 5534 will add a new Medicare coverage option solely to cover immunosuppressive drugs used by kidney transplant patients under age 65. People with transplants must take immunosuppressive drugs or their body will reject the transplanted organ. For people with a kidney transplant, the devastating impact of losing their kidney means they will have to go on dialysis or try to find another kidney — a daunting task with close to 100,000 people on the wait list.
"AKF has been tirelessly advocating for H.R. 5534 because of the terrible impacts that follow patients' inability to afford critical antirejection medications after Medicare coverage ends. 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.
"The CBO score brings us this much closer to creating a new, limited benefit under Medicare that will cover most of the cost of immunosuppressive drugs for people who have had a kidney transplant but whose post-transplant coverage under Medicare has ended. This bill will provide a vital safety net for low-income end-stage renal disease patients for whom access to health care is a matter of life and death. We urge Congress to move forward immediately with the debate and passage of this critical legislation."
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million 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. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.