Continuing the Discussion on Our Research Roundtables and Federal Kidney Funding

December 02, 2021, 10:38am EST

In October 2021, NKF released a series of priorities and opportunities in kidney disease research that resulted from the work of our Research Roundtables, capping a nearly year-long effort by nephrology leaders from academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, and other experts, as well as an advisory group of kidney patients, family members and caregivers, and living kidney donors.

On November 30, 2021, the Research Roundtable co-chairs and NKF Leadership and staff met with key officials from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and with officials from other National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes that impact kidney patients to discuss our research roadmap.

Why the roundtables matter

The Research Roundtables initiative will help inform federal policy makers about the insufficient level of funding for CKD research and educate them on needs and opportunities in pre-clinical and clinical research that will benefit patients.

From 2015 and 2020, NIH kidney research funding increased only by about half the rate of increase for NIH overall. Advances in care for kidney patients has not kept pace with those of other common chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and innovation is insufficient to meet the growing burden that kidney disease places on patients, families, and our health care system

Furthermore, disparities in disease management and outcomes exist among under-represented groups. The research roadmap contains two dozen recommended areas of focus, including suggestions to increase the enrollment and participation of under-represented populations in clinical trials and to increase utilization of proven therapies to improve kidney disease management.

Next steps

Additional investment in roadmap priorities can provide better CKD detection tools, provide new knowledge to prevent CKD and manage its progression, and result in an improved quality of life for patients and their families. In the coming year, NKF will use the roadmap as we urge Congress and the Biden Administration to provide additional research funding to address kidney patients’ needs. The voice of our advocates will be instrumental in helping us achieve these goals!

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