According to data from the 2010 Annual Data Report of the U.S. Renal Data System, extending Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs ($15,000-$20,000 per year) is far less costly to Medicare than a patient returning to dialysis ($76,000 per year) or receiving another transplant ($100,000-$125,000). As of July 1, 2011, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) reports that more than 89,000 people are on the kidney transplant wait list. Of this 89,000, approximately 5,000 are PKD patients.
Given the cost data and numbers of those awaiting a transplant, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act makes for good policy and will provide a long term savings to Medicare. Furthermore, kidney transplant patients will no long have to worry about how to pay for these important medications. Now is the time to change this outdated Medicare policy and provide lifelong access to these vital drugs, and I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 2969."