ASTS News

Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bill Passes the House

Dec 10, 2020
ASTS is very pleased to see the U.S. House floor passage of H.R. 5534, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (Immuno Bill), led by long-time congressional Bill champions Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Dr. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).

 

ASTS President Marwan S. Abouljoud, MD, CPE, MMM, said, “The House’s action on December 8 represents a critical next step toward final passage of the legislation. For patients and those who serve them, we hope that the Senate will do its part to get this bill over the finish line this year. We are also grateful for the collective efforts and support from other transplant and grass root organizations.”

ASTS is one of the leading voices advocating for over 15 years to change Medicare’s current policy that imposes a 36-month limitation on coverage of immunosuppressive medications for Medicare transplant recipients. These medications are necessary for the lifespan of the kidney – to maintain and preserve their life-sustaining transplant function, honor and protect the “gift of life” given by donors and donor families and protect taxpayer dollars expended for the transplanted kidney. The legislation takes the common-sense approach of removing the current 3-year limitation on coverage of these medications, all while saving taxpayers money.

ASTS Legislative and Regulatory Committee Chairman Anil Paramesh, MD, said, “Given that we are in the middle of a healthcare crisis, passing a Bill that not only prolongs lives, but saves money as well, just makes sense and should be done expeditiously. We applaud and strongly urge our many Senate champions, led by Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Durbin (D-IL), to advance the Senate companion legislation (S. 3353) before the end of 2020.”