Urge your elected officials to include immunosuppressive drug legislation in the next coronavirus bill!

Contact your lawmakers now!

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is more crucial than ever that vulnerable people such as patients with organ transplants remain home and avoid as much contact with others as possible. Ensuring that transplant patients continue to have continued access to immunosuppressive drugs is critical to keeping them off dialysis. With millions of Americans now facing unemployment and possible loss of health insurance as a result, extending Medicare coverage of immunosuppressants is even more important.

For Americans living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), transplants are the best and most desired treatment. In the United States today there are about 80,000 patients waiting for a kidney transplant, and the wait time can be years. Only one in five people on the wait list will receive an organ. A transplanted kidney is immeasurably valuable to the recipient, their family, and society.

People living with a kidney transplant rely on immunosuppressive drugs to ensure that their body does not reject their kidney. If they have Medicare coverage, it will cover their health care, including immunosuppressive drugs, for 36 months after the date of their transplant surgery. After those three years, if the patient is under the age of 65, Medicare will no longer cover the individual or their needed medications. In cases where ESRD patients cannot find alternative health insurance and they can’t afford to pay for their immunosuppressive drugs out-of-pocket, they ultimately lose their kidney and must go back on dialysis.

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Question - Not Required - What is your connection to kidney disease?










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Message

Please extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients in the next COVID-19 bill!

Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent and as someone who has been touched by kidney disease, I'm writing today to ask for you to include the extension of Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs to the life of the kidney transplant recipient in the next coronavirus package.

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is more crucial than ever that vulnerable people such as patients with organ transplants remain home and avoid as much contact with others as possible. Ensuring that transplant patients continue to have continued access to immunosuppressive drugs is critical to keeping them off dialysis. With millions of Americans now facing unemployment and possible loss of health insurance as a result, extending Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs is even more important.

For Americans living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), transplants are the best and most desired treatment. In the United States today there are about 80,000 patients waiting for a kidney transplant, and the wait time can be years. Only one in five people on the wait list will receive an organ. A transplanted kidney is immeasurably valuable to the recipient, their family, and society.

Those individuals, who are living with a kidney transplant, rely on immunosuppressive drugs to ensure that their body does not reject their kidney. If Medicare was the insurance for the patient, Medicare will cover their health care, which includes immunosuppressive drugs, for 36 months after the date of their transplant surgery. After those three years, if the patient is under the age of 65, Medicare will no longer cover the individual or their needed medications. In cases where ESRD patients cannot find alternative health insurance and they can't afford to pay for their immunosuppressive drugs out-of-pocket, they ultimately lose their kidney and must go back on dialysis.

Patients who have a kidney transplant want to keep their transplant. Access to immunosuppressive drugs is a vital component of keeping a transplant. Fortunately, there is momentum growing in Congress to expand Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for the life of the transplant for people with no other coverage options.

Ensuring that kidney transplant recipients can keep their kidneys is also good for the taxpayer. Medicare pays $90,000 a year per Medicare patient on dialysis, but just $34,000 a year for transplant patients. Ensuring that patients have access to immunosuppressive drugs is great for the patient and good for our nation.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]