“The Alpha-1 Foundation is proud to endorse The PLASMA Act in support of patients with rare diseases, like Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and immunodeficiencies, to have access to necessary plasma-based medicines. It is vital for our community to have continued access to this life-saving plasma therapy that they receive on a weekly basis.”Scott Santarella, President & CEO, Alpha-1 Foundation.
November 2, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-09) introduced the bipartisan Preserving Life-saving Access to Specialty Medicines in America (PLASMA) Act, legislation to ensure patients of rare diseases and immunodeficiencies have access to necessary plasma-based medicines. Hudson joined his colleagues from North Carolina, Reps. Greg Murphy, Don Davis, and Wiley Nickel, in efforts to implement phased-in rebates for plasma derived medicines.
“Families impacted by rare diseases deserve our recognition and support, and I’m proud to introduce the PLASMA Act with my North Carolina colleagues in order to enhance access to medicines for our nation’s most vulnerable patients,” said Rep. Hudson. “All Americans deserve a chance at the highest-quality, most innovative health care and this legislation recognizes the unique nature of plasma medicines, the necessary investments to produce them, and most importantly the patients and conditions they treat.”
North Carolina is home to one of the world’s largest plasma production facilities and more than 30 plasma donor centers across the state, which provide life-saving measures for thousands of Americans.
The PLASMA Act would include plasma-derived medicines in a phase-in process for the Part D redesign the Inflation Reduction Act already has in place for other drugs Congress recognized as unique. Beginning in 2031, manufacturers would pay the full rebate amount following annual rebate increases, protecting vulnerable beneficiaries’ supply of plasma-derived medicines and avoiding skyrocketing costs for patients.
In the United States, over 125,000 patients living with rare and life-threatening diseases rely on sustained access to plasma derived medicinal products to treat their lifelong health conditions. These rare and chronic diseases include Primary Immunodeficiencies, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency; for most patients there are no effective, alternative therapies available.
“Plasma-derived medicines are innovative therapies to combat rare and chronic diseases,” said Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. “Ensuring patient access to these lifesaving treatments not only provides greater therapeutic utility to providers but much needed hope for those in need. I’m grateful to join the effort to increase the accessibility of these medicines for Medicare beneficiaries.”
“Access to health care must always be top of mind,” said Congressman Don Davis. “To ensure patients with life-threatening rare diseases can continue receiving treatment with plasma-based medicines, we must pass the Preserving Life-saving Access to Specialty Medicines in America (PLASMA) Act. This common-sense path will guarantee plasma medicine suppliers can provide patients with continued access to life-saving cures.”
“Plasma-derived medicines are vital and often life-saving for those dealing with rare diseases,” said Congressman Wiley Nickel. “The current Medicare Part D rebates are inadvertently impacting the production landscape for plasma-derived medicines. It’s crucial we adjust these policies to reflect the unique challenges of manufacturing plasma-derived medicines. I’m proud to join Congressman Hudson, Congressman Davis, and Congressman Murphy in introducing the PLASMA Act, legislation to phase in these rebates, ensuring uninterrupted patient access.”
The PLASMA Act is is endorsed by top national and international health organizations, including the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, Alpha-1 Foundation, and GBS | CIDP Foundation International.
“The Alpha-1 Foundation is proud to endorse The PLASMA Act in support of patients with rare diseases, like Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and immunodeficiencies to have access to necessary plasma-based medicines. It is vital for our community to have continued access to this life-saving plasma therapy that they receive on a weekly basis,” said Scott Santarella, President & CEO, Alpha-1 Foundation.