ROCKVILLE, Md. (March 31, 2022) – The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced sponsorship from Vifor Pharma for an education and awareness campaign on chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus. This will be the first large-scale effort to provide people with kidney disease who are experiencing pruritus with the resources they need to understand this condition.
Pruritus, or chronic severe itching, is a common symptom in patients with advanced kidney disease, and one of the most challenging. Patients often describe pruritus as an itch under the skin that cannot be relieved, significantly impairing their quality of life. Many patients experience poor sleep and increased depression as a result. Approximately 40% of patients with advanced kidney disease experience pruritus, but experts believe the condition is underestimated and underdiagnosed. AKF's campaign will be the first comprehensive patient-facing pruritus education campaign.
"We regularly hear from the patients we serve about the physical and mental toll pruritus takes on their lives and their desperate search to find relief from symptoms. The new resources that we are developing will help address the need for trusted information about this distressing symptom experienced by so many who are already managing a life-altering disease," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "We are grateful to Vifor Pharma for their sponsorship of this campaign and for working with us to not only educate but raise awareness of pruritus within the kidney community and beyond."
AKF's campaign seeks to provide a better understanding of pruritus and empower people affected by it to effectively communicate with their health care team, family and caregivers about the condition's impact on their quality of life. As part of the campaign, AKF will host a webinar on pruritus and build a page on its website for pruritus information, with a variety of resources including a downloadable guide to assist patients in speaking with their doctors about pruritus.
"We are proud to support this education campaign by the American Kidney Fund. It is important for patients living with chronic kidney disease-associated itching to know that they are not alone – they are part of a community supporting each other with information and care," said Molly Painter, U.S. President of Vifor Pharma Inc.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.