Petition to Congress – Support Anti-Rejection Drug Coverage Bill

Posted on 31. Oct, 2011 by in Legislative Initiatives

After receiving a kidney transplant, a patient must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of his/her life, at a cost of $19,000 per year. Without these drugs, the body will reject the organ and the patient will have to go on dialysis.

Under current law, Medicare covers these medication costs for three years only, but will cover much higher dialysis costs – $77,000 per year – indefinitely.

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, currently in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, will extend that Medicare coverage for the rest of the patient’s life. This will help patients to keep their kidney transplants, shorten the transplant waiting list, and lower Medicare costs. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress support this measure.

It is good for transplant patients, good for taxpayers, and good for the national budget.

Please sign the petition below to urge your Members of Congress to support this legislation. You must include your zip code so we can send the petition to your Representative and Senators.

Thank you for your support.

For a one-page summary of the bill, click here.

 

[emailpetition id="1"]

If you are personally affected by this issue, share your story with us! Send us an email.

Organizations that support this legislation:

  • American Transplant Foundation
  • National Kidney Foundation (NKF)
  • American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
  • American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
  • American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN)
  • Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)
  • Renal Physicians Association (RPA)
  • American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB)
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease – PKD Foundation (PKD)
  • Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO)
  • Renal Support Network (RSN)
  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
  • NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals
  • Texas Transplantation Society
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
  • Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA)
  • Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC)
  • American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)

47 Responses to “Petition to Congress – Support Anti-Rejection Drug Coverage Bill”

  1. Angel Fox 1 November 2011 at 10:48 PM #

    This bill is very necessary and it should be for ALL transplant patients NOT ONLY kidney transplant patients. My husband has had a liver transplant and needs the same anti rejection meds and also has medicare as well. Please encourage this bill for all transplant patients.

    Thank you,
    Angel Fox

  2. Bruce 9 November 2011 at 1:46 PM #

    This really is a no-brainer that has no need to get caught up in the usual political bickering. It saves lives and saves money so I for one don’t want to hear of any congressman even thinking about rejecting this win-win bill.

  3. Joyce Moore 9 November 2011 at 2:29 PM #

    I am a transplant recipient and this bill’s passage is critical for transplant patient’s to stay alive. It’s defeat is truly a mass death sentence!

  4. John Warner 9 November 2011 at 5:48 PM #

    Please support this effort. It makes no sense to waste this precious transplant.

  5. Cathy Bowen 10 November 2011 at 3:52 PM #

    Please do the right thing and support this

  6. natasha turner 12 November 2011 at 8:34 AM #

    I just wanted to say that i support this , for i too am on dailysis for my kidneys and is waiting to get on the list . I support this bill and believing in others to do the same . Please be kind and help the one’s like us to stay strong and live heathly ! Thank you to all who support this act , you are greatly appericated !

  7. Wendi Showel 16 November 2011 at 1:23 PM #

    Ater being diabetic for over 35 years I received a kidney and pancreas transplant. Please pass this bill not only for me but also as a way of Thanking my donor and his/her family for giving me this Wonderful Gift.

  8. Debbie Morgan 18 November 2011 at 2:41 PM #

    I agree with Angel Fox and probably all transplant recipients. Anti-rejection medication is necessary for all transplanted patients to live. Medi-care should cover the drugs for all organ recipients for life. It makes no sense to pay a much greater amount for dialysis or to condemn all the others to a death sentence.

  9. Gloria 18 November 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    please sign this petition! it seems ridiculous to lose such a precious gift and go back on dialysis that not only is it costing everyone more money than if they would just cover our meds! Kidney transplant patient, received living donor kidney from my dad in 2006

  10. mary 19 November 2011 at 9:27 AM #

    I agree, this is a desperatly needed program!!! And to not allow this? would be wrong! Save the money,, give us OUR LIVES back!!!! Let us have the drugs to help us have a normal, ,, or almost normal life!!

  11. Gregory 19 November 2011 at 8:30 PM #

    I am transplant recipient and this bill and petition is very much a must do. Otherwise, it will be desasterous for many, many folks and a n afront for what this great nation stand for. “LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”.

  12. Manuel Palomo 19 November 2011 at 8:32 PM #

    After being a kidney transplant recipient twice, those antirejection medecines are very important for the life of the transplant, those medications gave life to my first transplant for more than 17 years it would of been longer but my kidney deteriorated working, second one only last 9 years. please sign this petition.

  13. Candace Parks 21 November 2011 at 8:55 PM #

    This bill is critical for all transplant patients after fighting to stay alive to get the transplanted organ they need to live how can we let them and their families down by allowing insurance companies to stop paying for these anti rejection drugs?

  14. Nancy Belcher 24 November 2011 at 1:43 PM #

    if it wasn’t for my personal health coverage my husband would’ve lost his “transplanted” kidney of 22 years & couldn’t rely on the system the way it is today..if we were to lose my coverage where would he be?this is an important piece of legislation if not for my husband but the people who need it the most…thank you for your voting on this with a “yes”..

  15. Mike Hudson 2 December 2011 at 6:29 PM #

    I have a kidney and liver transplant. This is needed for all transplant patients. SSA is trying to take away my health coverage now, which will likely be a death sentence for me.

  16. Charles O'Dell 4 December 2011 at 10:40 AM #

    I received my transplant ( Kidney) in 2000, and if it were not for my personal insurance there is no way I could have maintained my anti-rejection medication I needed, and still need. For people with no insurance it would be impossible to maintain such a great expense. I pray you elected representatives have the common decency to vote in favor of this bill. Its been to long for you to let it go any further. So please vote” yes “.

  17. Christina A. 4 December 2011 at 12:17 PM #

    This bill is very important to me because I recieved a kidney trasplant in 2006 & I am now without health insurance. Something must be done with our health care system! I feel this bill will help save many lives.

  18. Colleen H 5 December 2011 at 11:32 AM #

    My husband donated a kidney 2 years ago this week and had no idea that medical expenses would not be covered beyond the 3 year mark. He may not have donated if he knew this ahead of time. After all, why would a donor risk his/her life if there was a good possibility that 3 years after their donation it would be likely that their recipient would be once again be in danger of losing another organ due to lack of funding for their life saving medication.

  19. carol stier 13 December 2011 at 2:22 AM #

    Please pass this bill. In order to get a transplant generally someome died and left their organs for donation. Please let the recipieant live on 3yrs is not enough. It is less than dialysis. Dialysis is hard on the body it takes so much away from you. Please pass it and help people live. thank you

  20. Charles Lyonhart 13 December 2011 at 8:24 PM #

    You would think that we have gone through liver, kidney or heart transplants have been through enough crap already. This is outright murder for thos who cannot afford ant rejection meds. This should be a given in this country of American Healthcare, or should I say the great system of American Deathcare?
    Please sign the petition and support this!

  21. Heidi Sampson 15 December 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    Its devastating for transplant receipients to endure the financial stress when there only focus should be healing to live a better quality life. I will fight for my sister to get the help she needs please join me and support this bill

  22. Jenn W. 29 December 2011 at 9:02 AM #

    I am a two-time transplant patient. My first was a K/P and my sdecond was a second pancreas. Although my organ failure of the first pancreas was NOT due to lack of meds, I can say that I have had this very issue since my transplants. Becuase of the cost I have been forced to “stretch” out my meds. Basically I take less than the amount my doctor requires because I cannot afford it. I am one of those who, because I do have insurance and Medicare, it is covered, but only at a small percentage and the rest os up to me to afford. With 2 children (and yes I have a husband who provides as well) the costs are so high I often find I cannot pay for my meds. I try hard to at least take some of them, and it is not by choice that I skip or stretch my meds. I do not understand why the medicine is only covered 3 years post trasnplant, as the medicine is necessary for hte rest of our lives, not just THREE years! As trasnplant patients, we go through a lot just to have our transplant, then to have to worry about paying for our medicines for the rest of our lives instead of getting our lives BACK is depressing and scary (to say the least). PLEASE sign this petition, from a 2 time transplant patient that is thankful and grateful every single day of her life to have been given such a precious gift at a second chance at her life, and her two small children and husband are ever thankful as well.

  23. Victoria C 2 January 2012 at 10:54 PM #

    This would be suI ch a godsend to have the relief of support to keep my life. I am only 46 and a single parent. To not be able to be there for my son who will be 21, would be a travesty. I have Alport’s so having a transplant for me is successful provided I do not reject and can afford my medication. I have had my new kidney for a year and am worried about the Medicare assistance running out in two years. My financial future at the moment seems bleak. I have finally stabilized, I have had treatment 5 times for rejection. For the first time in many years, I feel “normal” and can do simple things like the dishes without having to rest for a few hours afterward.

    Let’s come together and support this important bill. So many people will have a better quality of life. Trust me, dialysis, especially hemodialysis — bites!

  24. ANDREW ROAS 5 January 2012 at 5:59 PM #

    My fiance despite working would have have to pay $3000 per month for anti-rejection
    medication. We simply cannot afford it. She would be forced into rejection and back to
    dialysis. That makes no sense what so ever. Please support this bill. Lives depend on it.

  25. JOHNNY DOTSON 7 March 2012 at 8:37 AM #

    I stayed on dialysis for 12 years with help thru Medicare and company insurance..I am now retired with a fixed income.It has been 3 years since my transplant and I have been notified that I would no longer have Medicare to help offset the high cost of the very expensive anti rejection drugs that I will need for the rest of my life.It doesnt make much sense for Medicare to pay for dialysis treatment as well as the transplant procedure and then set transplant patients up for failure…Please pass this bill..My setback would have an impact on my life if I can no longer the drugs as well as a higher cost for dialysis if I have to return treatment which would be a higher cost than the drugs…

  26. Jim W. 30 March 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    I agree that all transplant reciptients need coverage for their anti-rejection drugs forever, not just kidney transplant recipients. I received my liver transplant six years ago and have been on Tacrolimus (Prograf) since. However, just the other day, my prescription coverage was denied by Highmark’s Medicare PDP BlueRx because it requires “prior authorization” despite taking the drug for the past six years! They said were not able to see that I had filled prescriptions while signed up for the drug program because I was receiving the drug through a patient assistance program and before that was on an employer plan. Medicare should have never approved a PDP formulary that places any anti-rejection drug on a Prior Authorization list in the first place! Aleast this bill is a step in the right direction.

  27. Jane 18 April 2012 at 2:45 PM #

    This bill must pass. Our co-pays per month are well over 1,000 and that’s with insurance. I shutter to think and try to put it out of my mind as to what we would do without insurance. Our costs for just 2 anti-rejection drugs run almost 3,000 per month!!! I thank God for these drugs but I just can’t wrap my head around WHY are they so expensive.

  28. Jean Christopher 4 June 2012 at 8:38 AM #

    My son is a kidney transplant patient. This is a bill that needs to be passed. He had a transplant in 2009.

  29. Wanda Crider 29 June 2012 at 11:18 AM #

    My 24 year old son had a kidney transplant Dec. 2011. By 2014 he will be without coverage for his anti-rejection meds, unless by some miracle he can find himself employed as a rocket scientist or brain surgeon or some other such job with unlimited cash flow. PLEASE provide some help to transplant patients, especially those who are young and have come so far to be let down by the health care system.

  30. timothy roark 16 September 2012 at 7:05 PM #

    It makes no sense to not pass this bill. It is very frightening to think that we have to go to such lengths to stay alive. I thank god and pray that our politicians will promtly pass this bill, before another needless death, or return to diylasis.
    I would have thought that it was included in the original bill of thousands of pages, what an odd thing to forger, rather cruel, my time is up shortly too, for the moment I have insurance, odd, sorta reminds me a bit about like that old movie, Logans Run, only we got nowhere to run.

  31. Sarah B 7 January 2013 at 3:48 AM #

    I was in my late 40′s when I had my Kidney Transplant 4 years ago. i was on dialysis 2 1/2 years. I never stopped working. missing work for only 5 weeks during transplant. I had insurance and medicare at the time. 2 years after the transplant i lost my medicare because my premium was late. was told by my EX kidney Dr. ” people like you should not be allowed to have transplants if you don’t have insurance.” AS of 2 days ago i no longer have insurance. The stress is so overwhelming its hard to keep from crying. I’ve gone through this before. the stress alone will kill you. Those wonderful people save our lives with their precious gift. and we have to pay the outrages price for meds for the rest of our lives. plus Blood work and Dr. visits the co-pays alone put the average family in debt. Medical is the only debt US citizens can’t control because we are at their mercy. We get sick and we never come out the same. It is not possible to afford monthly meds and be a healthy average family. My wonderful son in law saved my life. and since the transplant I have 2 grandsons. Life is beautiful! And i want to live! Medicare abandoned us.

  32. Sarah B 7 January 2013 at 3:52 AM #

    PLEASE PASS THIS BILL

  33. Mia H. 18 February 2013 at 11:46 AM #

    My story:

    1997-Diagnosed with IGAN

    2004-Had a dialysis related, hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 28

    2006- Received a living-related kidney transplant from my brother

    2009-Medicare cuts off my insurance, unable to afford the cobra payment of almost $900 a month, I began to reject my transplant.

    2010-Finally qualified for insurance through my work, it was too late.

    2012-After many months of treatment from Loma Linda, and 4 rounds of Chemo to try to ward off the rejection, in August of 2012 my transplant failed and I went back on Peritoneal dialysis.

    The fact that Medicare would rather pay $77,000 a year for us to be on dialysis than the cost of the imunosuppresents is just baffling to me. While dialysis is lifesaving, prolonged treatment on either hemo or PD comes with a whole list of complications. My treatment for my hemorrhagic stroke in 2004, including life-flight to LA, ICU life support, coma support, physical rehab, and countless Dr appointments to help me regain full function, and cost upwards of half a million dollars. Now, again, I wait. The average wait time for my blood type is 7-10 years. wouldn’t it be cheaper, not to mention, better for my health, if the kidney that still resides in me, actually had the medication it needed to continue doing it’s job. IT’S RIDICULOUS!!! We NEED this bill passed!

  34. Shannon Doherty 4 March 2013 at 6:27 PM #

    Good Lord what a backwards policy. Pay for dialysis 100%, pay for transplant 100% and then not pay for the anti rejection meds? People cannot afford them. so they are stretching them out…taking less and the donation fails and boom..back on the waaay more expensive meds. Its a no brainer. My dad died of kidney disease when I was a little girl. It was hereditary and my siblings all have it. I am the only one not born with polycystic kidney disease. My brother got a donor kidney this week after 7 years on dialysis. Now I am not sure he can pay for his meds….really? He just traded in one problem for another one. My sister is still on dialysis. Its no way to live a life. PLEASE put this bill through. If not then you are just putting out more dollars for dialysis….seriously.

  35. Beverly Metcalf 18 March 2013 at 9:03 PM #

    It makes sense to pass this bill. Thanks!

  36. Alba Reimer 3 May 2013 at 10:37 PM #

    Please pass this bill!!! I have a friend who is alive today due to the generous donation of someone. Medicare stopped covering his meds but luckily his wife’s insurance picked up the cost of the meds. Everyone should have the opportunity to live a long life which should not be decided by medicare when to cut off medications.

  37. Wendell Edwards Jr 18 May 2013 at 6:31 PM #

    I recently entered a situation where my insurance was no longer and medicare was the only way I could receive certain treatment without being aditted into the hospital. Recently Part B was reinstated but copays and other requirements are the topic of conversation with my medical team. For instance, I cannot even get certain infusions of meds that I need until I receive the Medicare Insurance Card which was reinstated April 1st and it is now May 18. This bill should be passed at once along with other things being improved.

  38. Elsa Casillas 18 June 2013 at 12:37 AM #

    Please pass this bill. It’s ridiculous that people who wait so long to get transplants may risk losing their organs because they cannot afford medication needed to keep on living. Yet, they are willing to pay much more money for dialysis a year rather than pay for medication. This system is screwed up. My sister-in-law is in this situation, she cannot get insurance to pay for medication and is often faced with going to the ER to get medication.

  39. Lisa Kane 15 July 2013 at 10:01 AM #

    I am on the waiting list for a liver transplant at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester. I can barely afford the medications I take now, I don’t even want to think about after the liver transplant.

    Please pass this bill
    01468

  40. Regina 31 July 2013 at 12:13 PM #

    Hello, my sister has found out that she will be placed on the donor list for a kidney, she is 26 yrs old with an young daughter to raise. She will need all the help that she can possibly receive. I am encouraging the passing of this bill not only for my sister but for every other transplant recipient out there. <3

  41. Ricky f. Harrell, sr. 13 August 2013 at 1:04 PM #

    This would really benefit transplant patients, Medicare budgets, states, and federal gov.! It would also mean less rejections, and more kidneys available for those awaiting transplants! It is really hard paying for the immunosuppressant drugs! It is hardship for the whole family involved! Even paying .20 percent of monthly copayment along with all the labs and doctors and hospitals is very hard on patients and families! Please help to change this Medicare coverage to help these hardships and Medicare budgets! Let the gifts of life be forever! Not to be lost due to outdated laws that need to be changed because it is just common sense! It would help the donation also to know it wouldn’t be lost due to medication! Things change so fast with your insurance coverage, insurance company buy outs and Changes in coverage! Your stressed all the time trying to get things where you can afford insurance premiums or Meds! Am I going to be able to get my Meds? It’s a constant struggle! The patients know its a better quality of life after transplant especially if you been on dialysis for many years! The numbers speak for themselves! It’s better all the way around! Thanks

  42. Taylor Sanders 19 November 2013 at 7:21 AM #

    I support this and everyone should! I lost my father a few weeks ago to his battle with kidney failure, and even though he wasnt elligible for his own kidney transplant, i still hope the best for all the recipients! No person should have to pay that much for something they didnt choose to happen! Dont let them reject thier own new body parts!

  43. Ronald Rock 26 January 2014 at 5:14 AM #

    I have been on dialysis 10 years and am age 48. I am very interested in seeing this bills pasted.
    43062 Ohio

  44. Mike Morris 19 February 2014 at 12:05 AM #

    As a prior dialysis patient, now a transplant recipient I have been living with the stress of wondering how all this would be paid for. Please sign this bill quickly.

  45. Kerri Ricketts Franks 21 February 2014 at 8:22 PM #

    My oldest son had a liver transplant in June 2005. He is now 24 yrs old, married and a baby on the way. He has insurance but due to the preexisting condition the insurance will not pay for his anti rejection medication. It is not only people with kidney transplants that are in need of help. There are countless others who have had liver, lung, kidney and heart transplants in the same situation. Passing this bill would give them a better quality of life and a chance to live longer. Without his medication he can an will go into rejection and the possibility of dying. It’s a every month stress and worry on where is the funds going to come from to get medicine or am I going to be able to get medication. The new Obama care is not helping one bit. Why does my son and countless other people struggle daily to live? Without your help in passing this bill it is out outrageous to those who have suffered to have the transplants and now to suffer not knowing if they will be able to survive ! PLEASE PASS THIS BILL!!!!!

  46. Cathleen RN from Aspen 15 August 2014 at 3:04 PM #

    I just got a kidney transplant at The University of Colorado three weeks ago today. I feel better than I have in years thanks to a friend of a friends kindness donating to me. The entire process and people has been nothing short of a wonderful experience and an eye opener as to the generosity of people.


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