An influential panel of U.S. experts has added the screening for chronic kidney disease (CKD) to its list of preventive services under active consideration, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the group chair.
The identification of new patients could expand sales of new treatments targeted at the disease. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) has FDA approval for SGLT2 inhibitor Farxiga to slow progression of early-stage kidney disease. Eli Lilly (LLY) and Boehringer Ingelheim are developing their diabetes medication Jardiance to target CKD.
The change has not yet been disclosed in a public forum yet, Dr. Carol Mangione, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), confirmed.
The government-backed panel last addressed the issue in 2012, noting inadequate evidence to assess routine screening for CKD in the asymptomatic stage of the disease.
USPSTF recommendations typically lead to payor coverage for diagnostics. Kidney disease screening usually involves a blood test for a waste product known as creatinine and a urine test for the protein albumin.
"For a screening to help people live longer, healthier lives, clinicians must be able to treat the condition once it is found. The existence of effective treatments is one of many important factors that the Task Force considers,” Mangione remarked.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, an estimated 37 million Americans live with kidney disease. While about 90% do not know they have the disease, 800,000 suffer from end-stage renal disease undergoing dialysis or transplants. Diabetes is a major reason for kidney failure, making up about 40% of new cases.
Invokana from Johnson & Johnson and Jardiance from Eli Lilly (LLY) and Boehringer Ingelheim are approved to treat type 2 diabetes patients with CKD.