Kidney disease — one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States — is the fastest-growing noncontagious disease in the country. The U.S House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has taken several important steps in their recent bill to increase funding for kidney disease research and take steps to address the increase in kidney failure cases, which has grown over 40% in the last ten years.
There are 37 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), most of whom do not even know they have it. And there are millions more who are at risk of developing CKD. Of the Americans with CKD, 809,000 are living with kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease, or ESKD), a life-altering condition that comes with enormous physical and emotional burdens. We need better screening, better treatment options and a cure, which is why we need funding for research.
The bill would fund the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) at $2.8 billion for Fiscal Year 2023. This would be an increase of $80 million from FY 2022. It also includes language directing the NIDDK to address racial and ethnic disparities in kidney disease and to focus on rare kidney disease and to report back to Congress on their efforts.
The bill would also fund KidneyX at $5 million. KidneyX is a public private partnership between the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). The goals of KidneyX are to fund innovative treatments for kidney disease. Although medications have improved, those with kidney failure still have two options: dialysis or a kidney transplant. Innovation is needed in treating chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease.
The bill more than doubles the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) program, which funds state, tribal, and community efforts for awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of CKD. The program was funded at $3.5 million in FY 2022 and is funded at $8.5 million in FY 2023. The CKD program is a key way the public learns about kidney disease.
Please contact your Representative and ask that they vote to for this important legislation.