From the American Society of Transplantation:
After nearly 20 years of tireless advocacy from the transplant stakeholder community and some very committed Congressional leaders, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (Immuno Bill) was passed today by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.
The AST commends Senators Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Durbin (D-IL) and Congressmen Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Kind (D-WI) for their steadfast support and commitment over many sessions of Congress to make today’s passage a reality.
“Today’s passage of the Immuno Bill by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is a huge victory for kidney transplant recipients, donors, and their families,” stated AST President Dr. Richard Formica.
The AST, representing a majority of medical professionals engaged in solid organ transplantation, has long advocated for removing the 36-month immunosuppressive drug coverage limitation for kidney transplant patients. The Immuno Bill passage has remained a top legislative priority for the Society for nearly two decades. During this time, the AST conducted dozens of targeted Capitol Hill fly-ins, connecting-the-dots between members of Congress, transplant medical professionals, patients, and families that reside and work in their Congressional districts and states. Society leaders have also testified in support of the Immuno Bill before the House Energy & Commerce Committee and conducted comprehensive grassroots activities to drive co-sponsorship and overall support of the legislation. Additionally, the AST partnered on many occasions with members of Congress to host Congressional educational briefings to garner support for the Immuno Bill and hosted a Transplant Patient Summit with Congressional leaders that focused on the need to eliminate kidney patient’s 36-month immunosuppressive drug coverage limitation.
“The AST is grateful for the House and Senate action today. Passage of the Immuno Bill will undoubtedly have a positive impact on kidney transplant recipients and their families. Furthermore, elimination of the 36-month immunosuppressive coverage limitation protects the gift and investment of a donor kidney and saves the U.S. Treasury money by preventing kidney failure, a re-transplant, or a return to dialysis,” Dr. Formica added.
The AST thanks the U.S. Congress, transplant and kidney stakeholder communities, as well as the Society’s membership for working together and staying committed to seeing this critical patient public policy through to completion.