Washington, DC—Today, H.R. 5534, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019, introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), unanimously passed the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. This legislation would improve immunosuppressive drug coverage under Medicare for kidney transplant patients.
“Right now, too many patients and their families worry about whether they can afford the treatment they need to keep their transplanted kidney, today we took an important step towards alleviating that burden,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m proud to see this legislation move forward and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this signed into law.”
H.R. 5534, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019, would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients beyond the current limit when the individual has no other coverage. Currently, individuals eligible for Medicare due to permanent kidney failure lose their immunosuppressive drug coverage 36 months after a transplant. This can lead to patients not being able to afford their medications and increase the risk of organ rejection. H.R. 5534 would permanently remove the 36-month limit. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates that this policy will result in significant Medicare savings.