Access to medically appropriate prescription drugs for people living with kidney disease must be preserved amid federal efforts to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. People with chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and kidney transplants rely on prescription drugs to manage their kidney disease and comorbidities. People need access to medically-appropriate prescription drugs that are effective and right for their individual situation, and they must be able to afford them.
To protect patient access to needed medications, avoid disruptions to stable drug regimens, and support lower prescription drug costs for patients, AKF supports:
- Policies that would result in lower drug costs and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients, particularly a restructuring of the Part D benefit that creates a true out-of-pocket cap for beneficiaries with a smoothing mechanism. We also support policies that protect a patient's ability to use drug copay coupons, discount cards, charitable assistance and other assistance to afford needed medications, and to have that assistance count towards their annual deductible and out-of-pocket spending cap.
- Efforts that encourage the introduction and availability of generic prescription drugs and biosimilars, while maintaining effective safeguards to ensure that patients for whom generic substitution is not medically appropriate still have access to branded drugs that are part of their stable drug regimen. AKF supports maintaining patient access to prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program as it relates to the six categories and classes of drugs of clinical concern (the six protected classes), which includes immunosuppressive drugs for treatment of transplant rejection.