Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswomen Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27) and Chellie Pingree (ME-1) introduced the John W. Walsh Alpha-1 Home Infusion Act (H.R. 7346) which would allow Medicare beneficiaries struggling with the hereditary alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency condition, or alpha-1 patients, to receive essential augmentation infusions at home. Alpha-1 patients struggle with a hereditary condition that, without treatment by FDA approved augmentation therapies, may result in serious lung disease in adults and/or liver disease in infants, children, and adults. Therapy slows but not reverses the progression of the lung destruction associated with this disorder.
“There is no doubt this small change in Medicare policy, which allows for the delivery of critical in home infusions as we continue adapting to new and wise public health advice, will have a significant impact on the Medicare beneficiaries who struggle with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. I am proud to lead this legislation which will make life easier for people at high risk of developing lung and/or liver disease due to this rare genetic disease,” stated Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar.
“During the pandemic, many immunocompromised Alpha-1 patients couldn’t access important therapies because of barriers to home infusion under Medicare, despite being safe and effective” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “I’m proud to join Congresswoman Salazar in this effort to ensure home infusions are a permanent benefit for Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from this rare disorder.”
“The introduction of The John W. Walsh Alpha-1 Home Infusion Act, for patient access to home infusions is a huge step for this rare disease community. The Alpha-1 Foundation has worked tirelessly to get this bill introduced so that neither age nor disability will interfere with the continuation of care when transitioning to the Medicare system. The John W. Walsh Alpha-1 Home Infusion Act will cement the next step forward in improving the lives of Alphas for generations to come, alleviating the burdens that comes with a diagnosis of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and the resulting costs. Thank you to Congresswoman Salazar for making this legislation a reality.” said Scott Santarella, President and CEO, Alpha-1 Foundation.