Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage
Every year, thousands of Americans receive kidney transplants through the Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program, which also covers dialysis, immunosuppressive drugs and other medically important services. After transplantation patients must take immunosuppressive drugs every day for the life of the transplants to decrease the risk that their bodies will reject the organs. Unfortunately, Medicare only provides 36 months of coverage for these immunosuppressive drugs. After that three-year period, many patients who are no longer eligible for Medicare struggle to find coverage or to purchase the anti-rejection medications themselves. As a result, patients often end-up back on dialysis sooner than they should, increasing both their time on dialysis as well as everyone’s wait for a transplant. Others don’t even apply for the transplant list as they know they can’t afford the drugs and continue on dialysis indefinitely. DPC is working hard to eliminate the current cap on immunosuppressive drug coverage in Medicare.