WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Seventeen patient advocacy organizations from North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East have formed the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health. The Alliance aims to elevate patient voices and advocate for policies that enhance access to screening and early treatment of chronic kidney disease, or CKD.
The Alliance’s steering committee includes representatives from:
Federación Nacional de Asociaciones The Kidney Foundation of Canada Kidney Health Australia American Kidney Fund National Kidney Foundation Kidney Care UK NEF Project Kidney Tec
CKD is one of the most neglected public health crises of our time.
Globally, CKD affects nearly 840 million people. About 90% of CKD patients are unaware of their status. This can have dire consequences: CKD is incurable, and when left unmanaged, it can lead to kidney failure, necessitating dialysis or kidney transplants.
Addressing CKD requires a system-wide approach that prioritizes early disease identification and management. This approach should include policies focused on improving access to risk-based screening, eliminating health care system inefficiencies and prioritizing education and training of health care professionals.
“The Alliance urges governments to act decisively to protect at-risk patients by investing in proven policy solutions to slow disease progression and prevent severe complications and death,” says Marisol Robles, a steering committee member and president of the Mario Robles Ossio Foundation in Mexico.
The cost of CKD on people, governments and the environment is high.
The negative impact of CKD is far-reaching. Treatment for patients with kidney failure places huge costs on health care systems and harms the environment immensely. Many countries spend 2-3% of their annual health care budget and collectively use about 265 billion litres of water to provide dialysis therapy and kidney transplants annually.
Chris Forbes, steering committee member and CEO of Kidney Health Australia, relates: “Chronic kidney disease is costing the Australian economy $9.9 billion per year in productivity-related losses and health care expenditure to provide dialysis and kidney transplants.” “When these organs stop working,” he continues, “it wreaks havoc.”
Individual level approaches to chronic kidney disease fall short.
While lifestyle modifications and medications can slow progression of CKD, without an increased emphasis on screening and early treatment, the Alliance says, many more people will be affected.
Marisol Robles, whose home country Mexico has the sixth highest premature death rate in the world from CKD, says: “It’s important to educate at-risk people about how to keep their kidneys healthy but in heavily burdened countries, governments have an obligation to implement policies that reflect international best-practice.”
About the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health
Bringing together advocates from around the world, the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health envisions health care systems that treat chronic kidney disease as a public health priority by ensuring at-risk patients can access comprehensive screening and early treatment. The non-profit Global Alliance for Patient Access serves as secretariat for the Alliance. Visit globalkidneyalliance.org for more information.
AstraZeneca has provided a financial sponsorship to the Global Alliance for Patient Access as the secretariat of the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health.