This week, ISN convened a meeting with global kidney experts to develop a new, cohesive approach to tackling the global epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The ISN Global Kidney Health Summit, the first meeting of its kind, took place in Vancouver, Canada from July 26 to 28, 2016 and gathered the international community to develop a global strategy or blueprint to address the challenges of CKD over the next 5 to 10 years.
CKD is responsible for a large share of healthcare costs globally, explained ISN President Adeera Levin at the conclusion of the Summit. According to a recent report published in the UK by the NHS Kidney Care, kidney disease costs more than breast, lung, colon and skin cancer combined. In China, the economy is expected to lose US$558 billion over the next decade due to effects on death and disability attributable to chronic cardiovascular and renal disease, whilst in in the US, treatment of CKD is likely to exceed $48 billion per year.1
An improved understanding of CKD and its determinants, the effectiveness of and variations in care models, and the ability to characterize and treat the disease early are imperative for the international health community, both from a clinical and an economic perspective, continued Dr. Levin.
The Summit sought to define the status of current knowledge around CKD, determine where the gaps in knowledge and practice are, and address how these can be filled. Participants agreed on concrete strategies for research, education, and advocacy and have begun to create a performance measurement framework to demonstrate progress over time.
Key areas to be addressed include:
- The relationship between genetics and environment in developing CKD and identifying those factors in different parts of the world
- Increasing the understanding of the incidence and prevalence of CKD around the world
- Implementing established and equitable treatment options worldwide
- Improving diagnostic methods and understanding the natural course of CKD
- Ensuring clinical trials are designed and executed in a meaningful manner, and
- Validating and establishing novel therapeutic interventions
The resulting blueprint, concluded Dr. Levin, will define key actions to improve outcomes for people living with CKD of diverse etiologies, in diverse socio-economic and geographic locations around the world, and will be used to inform multiple stakeholders including researchers, clinicians, patients, and policymakers.
The ISN is uniquely positioned to lead this global initiative and is focused on delivering a renewed global commitment to improving standards of kidney care worldwide.