National Kidney Foundation Statement on “Conflicts of Interest for Patient-Advocacy Organizations”, a special report in The New England Journal of Medicine

March 1, 2017 - A recent report published in The New England Journal of Medicine studied 104 of the nation’s largest patient advocacy organizations and examined potential conflicts of interest associated with receiving support from industry. National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has extensive policies in place to ensure no conflict of interest and to maintain the foundation’s independence on all programs and health policy positions.

70% of all NKF revenue comes from individuals or public groups supporting our mission. Corporate and government grant support accounts for the remaining portion.  National Kidney Foundation does accept financial support from industry, though this support does not drive policy positions, priorities, mission or objectives. 
 
100% of any industry funding the foundation receives is allocated toward a specific deliverable for a program or event sponsorship. NKF has complete independence in decision making and oversight of any such deliverable.  In addition, NKF’s Corporate Relations Policy strictly prohibits any agreement or action that endorses a specific commercial product, process, service or enterprise.
 
NKF is governed by an independent Board of Directors, all of whom sign a Conflict of Interest agreement which obligates any member to recuse him/herself from any matters related to his/her business interests.  Of the 24 members of the Board of Directors, one is employed by an industry organization, support from which was $68,700 USD in FY2016, representing less than .0020 of NKF’s total annual revenue ($40 million USD). 
 
All corporate supporters are clearly published in the foundation’s Annual Report, which is also available online.
 
In addition to its independent Board of Directors, National Kidney Foundation has an independent Scientific Advisory Board comprised of physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals who provide advice and guidance on NKF's activities related to medicine and health, and oversee the bio-medical research program and professional education activities of the foundation.  A Public Policy Committee, comprised of patients and healthcare professionals, advises on all annual policy objectives.
 
The National Kidney Foundation receives top rankings from the Better Business Bureau, Guide Star, HonCode, Charity Navigator, Charity-Watch and the National Health Council
 

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney diseaseFor more information about the NKF visit www.kidney.org.