Support for Lifetime Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Saves Lives and Dollars

United States House of Representatives UnitedStatesSenate

Re:Support for Lifetime Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Saves Lives and Dollars

Dear Members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate:

As the stakeholder organizations representing professionals in the field of organ transplantation, organ donation, and nephrology—as well as organizations representing kidney transplant patients,patientswith kidney disease, and dialysis patients who are unable to consider transplantationdue to limited coverage—we urge you to join us in supporting the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2011(H.R. 2969 and S. 1454). This sensible bill would prevent organ rejection, save livesand save taxpayer dollars.

On February 1, 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published an article that highlights compelling new data concerning the value of extending lifetime Medicare immunosuppressive drug coverage. (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1114394. Gill JS, Tonelli M. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish? Coverage Limits on Immunosuppression after Kidney Transplantation.New Eng. J Med. 10.1056/NEJMp1114394) We urge you to read this timely article, which concludes that “thissimple policy change would actually reduce net expenditures for ESRD care.”

The NEJM article joins a growing body of evidence demonstrating that lifetime immunosuppressive coverage would generate savings for Medicare. More than 60 members of Congress have cosponsored this bipartisan, bicameral legislation. If you are not already a cosponsor, we strongly encourage you to sign on to this common-sense legislation today.

Patients and taxpayers cannot wait another year to pass legislation that protects Medicare’s investment in kidney transplants as well as the lives of people with kidney disease. We urge you to help us to correct this flawed, illogical policyby passingH.R. 2969 andS. 1454 this year.

Again, thank you for your leadership and for your support of patients with kidneydisease.

Sincerely,

American Association of Kidney Patients American Kidney Fund

American Society of Nephrology American Society of Pediatric Nephrology American Society of Transplantation American Society of Transplant Surgeons American Transplant Foundation

Dialysis Patient Citizens

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

NATCO, the Organization for Transplant Professionals National Kidney Foundation

Renal Physicians Association Renal Support Network

Transplant Recipients International Organization United Network for Organ Sharing