May 15, 2018
1 min read

NKF: Transplant drugs need to be protected under Trump administration’s drug cost savings plan

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The National Kidney Foundation expressed “great concern” that a Trump administration plan to reduce the cost of drugs might lead to changes in Part D classes that include immunosuppressive drugs for patients who receive transplants.

“The Trump administration has released its blueprint to help lower costs for prescription drugs and reduce out-of-pocket expenses to patients, a particular challenge faced by kidney patients,” the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) said in a press release. “Dialysis and transplant recipients rely on prescription medications to keep them alive. Transplant recipients often face high costs for immunosuppressive drugs and may cut back on, or even skip, doses because they cannot afford their medication; this can be detrimental to the transplant and to the patient.”

While the NKF said it is supportive of policy changes that will lead to “greater transparency” for patients in understanding the costs of their prescriptions, “within the (Trump administration) blueprint a reference to potentially changing policies related to Medicare Part D-protected drug classes, which includes immunosuppressive drugs, is of great concern.”

Those protected drug classes should be left intact, “as not all of these medications are equal or interchangeable. The protective policy ensures that the widest combination of drugs is available to clinicians to tailor prescriptions based on the needs of individual patients to avoid organ rejection and mitigate side effects.”

The NKF said, “We look forward to working closely with the administration as it further refines the policy proposals so that the needs of patients facing life-long challenges, such as dialysis and transplant patients, will be protected.”