Immunosuppressive drugs prevent transplanted organs from being rejected. Medicare currently provides 36 months of coverage for immunosuppressive drugs for non-disabled kidney transplant patients under the age of 65. Patients who stop taking immunosuppressive drugs because they can’t afford them face the loss of their transplanted kidney, necessitating a return to dialysis. Providing lifetime coverage for these medications would result in better health outcomes for patients, as well as substantial cost savings to Medicare because fewer transplant patients would need to resume dialysis.
Previous congresses saw the introduction of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, which would provide lifetime immunosuppressive drug coverage for kidney transplant patients under Medicare Part B. Kidney transplant patients under age 65 would be eligible to remain in the Medicare Part B program solely for the purpose of receiving these critical medications. We support the reintroduction and enactment of this legislation.