A flawed Medicare policy has contributed to the suffering of American kidney patients for decades. While the federal entitlement program covers a lifetime of costly dialysis treatments, it provides only 36 months of anti-rejection medications that kidney transplant recipients need the rest of their lives. Without the drugs, the kidney fails and recipients return to the dialysis regimen, sometimes waiting years for the next kidney transplant. The counter-intuitive policy keeps patients in a U.S. dialysis system with some of the worst mortality rates in the world, and wastes the precious resource of donated kidneys. It can cost taxpayers millions more in the long run. Yet, attempts by lawmakers to remedy the problem have been defeated by lobbying from a multi-billion dollar dialysis industry that wants to ensure that monies for the transplant drugs do not come from the government's dialysis budget. Among the key lobbyists is dialysis drug maker Amgen of Thousand Oaks.