Reps. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Carol Miller (R-WV), and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the Kidney PATIENT Act, H.R.5074. The bipartisan bill that keeps Phosphate Lowering Therapies Out of the Bundle to Protect People with Kidney Failure
People with kidney failure are prone to high levels of phosphate in their blood. Phosphate binders are medications that help prevent the absorption of dietary phosphate. When phosphate levels in the body are not properly controlled and they remain high, it is a condition known as hyperphosphatemia. Hyperphosphatemia can lead to serious health complications if not treated. The frequency and number of phosphate binders taken by individuals during each meal can vary based on their specific medical condition and treatment plan. These medications help to control and reduce the absorption of phosphate from the diet. Phosphorus content is not required on FDA food labels.
“We cannot let bureaucracy get in the way of patients’ health and well-being,” said Rep. Carter. “As a pharmacist, I know just how important it is for patients, especially those with kidney disease, to be able to access and afford the medicine prescribed by their doctor. This is bipartisan, it’s been done before, and it will save taxpayer dollars. Let’s pass this bill and stop CMS from gambling with patients’ lives.”
In 2025, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is set to move oral-only drugs into the Medicare Part B End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) prospective payment system, this will deprive people who are on dialysis access to life-saving medications and increase costs for dialysis treatments.
We ask that you leave phosphate binders out of the Medicare bundle system. It is important that doctors be able to prescribe the most effective treatment for their patients. There are hundreds of combinations of medications to affect bone mineral metabolism and they are given at a very high volume. Therefore, they cannot be effectively managed and stocked with efficiency in a dialysis facility or nursing home.
Also, there are no approved quality measures which can protect the patient from receiving the cheapest medication instead of the most effective one.
Phosphate lowing medication cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. This is why we believe that doctors should have the freedom to prescribe the best binder for each patient’s specific situation, and that patients can pick up the medication from their pharmacy, so they can speak with a pharmacist.
Keep Phosphate Lowering Drugs Out of the Bundle to Protect People on Dialysis