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AST Concerned That Kidney Transplant Patients May Suffer Politics As Usual in Capitol Hill Health Care Reform Debate

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's New York Times article by Kevin Sack, "Plan for Kidney Drugs Spurs Division," illustrates an internal renal community reimbursement debate that may result in kidney patients continuing to be deprived of their life-saving immunosuppressive medications beyond the current 36-month Medicare program limit.

As Congress is poised to approve this urgent transplant patient coverage to preserve the lives of transplant kidney recipients, behind-the-scenes debate continues within the renal community regarding how dialysis should be reimbursed. The American Society of Transplantation (AST) believes strongly that dialysis reimbursement, while important, should not hold hostage a bill that would provide thousands of kidney transplant patients their desperately needed and life-saving immunosuppressant medications.

AST President, Dr. Joren Madsen, stated this morning, "I applaud the New York Times for drawing attention to an urgent patient care issue which should not fall victim to politics as usual." Transplant patient immunosuppressive drug coverage has been AST's #1 Public Policy Issue for more than a decade. As this morning's New York Times article states, "It is pound foolish" to pay for a patient's organ transplant and then only give them a 36-month supply of the drugs they need to maintain their life-saving donor organ for the remainder of their life.

About AST

The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of transplant professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation through the promotion of research, education, advocacy, and organ donation to improve patient care. The Society comprises more than 3,100 transplant physicians, surgeons and allied health professionals.

For information about AST, visit

    CONTACT: Beth Drost at 215.884.6499

SOURCE The American Society of Transplantation

SOURCE The American Society of Transplantation
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