Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients realize that Medicare covers the cost of Kidney Transplants, but unfortunately limits payments for Immunosuppressant (Anti- Rejection) Medication, which helps to prevent a patient's immune system from attacking the new kidney, to only thirty-six (36) months. Now stories are arising highlighting the fact that this Medicare policy, which is widely regarded as pound-foolish, has been costing Chronic Kidney Disease patients' their Kidney Transplants - causing them to have to begin Dialysis and find themselves again on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. Is it time for patients to take action?
All Kidney Transplant patients know the high cost of Immunosuppressant Medication which can set a patient back financially by $1,000 to $3,000 a month. After the 36-month drug coverage, many patients such as Melissa J. Whitaker struggle to cover the cost of crucial medications. In fact, when Melissa could not afford her Anti-Rejection Drugs she soon found herself skipping doses and her kidney failed shortly thereafter, the New York Times reported. “If they had just paid for the pills, I’d still have my kidney,” said Ms. Whitaker.
Recommended Reading: How to Deal with the High Priced Kidney Transplant Anti-Rejection Drugs
Now on her second Kidney Transplant, she fears that she will find herself in a similar situation once her 36-month coverage clock ticks down to zero. Unfortunately, she is not alone. Several other patients have suggested that they have lost or are losing their Kidney Transplants because they cannot afford their drugs.
What's more, the cost-benefit analysis would seem obvious. The most recent report from the United States Renal Data System found that Medicare spends an average of $17,000 a year on care for Kidney Transplant recipients after the first year, most of it for anti-rejection drugs. That compares with $71,000 a year for dialysis patients and $106,000 for a recent Kidney Transplant Recipient (including the first year of monitoring).
“It doesn’t make any sense at all,” noted Ms. Whitaker. Well, most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients would agree. If you support extending Immunosuppressant Medication coverage, then take action and sign the following petition:
Whether you are a patient or a loved one, we need your support. Once you have signed the petition, then share it with others and ask them to do the same.
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