PPTA applauds the House of Representatives for Passing Milestone IVIG Access Act

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) applauds the House of Representatives on yesterday's passage of the Medicare IVIG Access Act (H.R. 1845), which gives Medicare patients who suffer from primary immunodeficiency disease (PI) better access to lifesaving intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy at home.

"House passage of this bill is a victory for patient access to lifesaving IVIG and a testament to the steadfast commitment of the Immune Deficiency Foundation," according to Julie Birkofer, Senior Vice President, North America.

The bill introduced by Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) establishes a three-year Medicare demonstration project that provides reimbursement for the services required for home infusion of IVIG by PI patients. Under current law, Medicare reimburses the IVIG therapy under Part B, but does not reimburse for the related items and services necessary to administer the therapy in the home, including nursing services. PPTA supports patient access to all therapies in all sites of care based on the needs of the patient in consultation with their physician.

The bill, which had widespread bipartisan support, passed the House 401 to 3 and will now go to the Senate where its companion legislation S. 960 was introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). PPTA urges the Senate to pass the Medicare IVIG Access Act before the end of this current Congressional session in order to ensure PI patients can fully access the Medicare home infusion benefit for IVIG therapy their homes.

There are more than 350 primary immune deficiencies. These rare, chronic, genetic conditions prevent an individual's immune system from fighting even common infections, and leads to frequent, serious illness such as pneumonia. PPTA is a global industry trade association that represents the collectors of source plasma and the commercial manufacturers of plasma protein therapies, including IVIG.

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