President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 into law earlier this month. The legislation funds the federal government until September 30, the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017. The legislation funds important kidney-related programs including funding of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), the Organ Transplantation Program, and the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) health promotion program for chronic kidney disease (CKD).
NIDDK is the part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that focuses on kidney disease. Congress provided $1.8 billion to the NIDDK for FYI 2017, an increase of $52 million from FY 2016. It is unclear how much will be allocated to kidney research. NIDDK requested $438 million for FY 2017 for research on kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. The requested amount was actually $1.1 million less than the amount enacted for 2016.
he NIDDK highlighted three programs in its budget for FY 2017:
- Pilot Studies of Candidate Therapies for Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which will “establish a multicenter collaboration to perform pilot trials to optimize study designs for larger trials of new pediatric CKD treatments.”
- APOL1 Gene Variants in Patients Undergoing Kidney Transplantation, which will “support a multicenter study of African American kidney donors and recipients, including evaluation of APOL1 genotypes and transplant outcomes.”
- Conquering the Heterogeneity with Renal Biopsy, which will “provide research tools to help identify unique molecular signatures in biopsied tissue to further understand the normal and diseased kidney.”
The legislation funded the Organ Transplantation Program at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at HHS at $23.5 million for FY 2017. The Organ Transplantation Program oversees the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which distributes and allocates donor organs, including kidneys, to individuals on the waiting list. The program also aims to increase the number of both living and deceased donors.
Health Promotion – Kidney Health
The CDC’s health promotion program collects data and conducts epidemiological research to identify, prevent and address chronic illnesses. A priority for the CDC is providing wide-ranging public health approaches to promote kidney health. The CKD program aims to enhance surveillance of CKD, coordinate state demonstration projects, and conduct economic research on annual health care costs associated with CKD. Congress funded this program at $2.1 million.