Diabetes pill can reduce the need for dialysis or kidney transplants
Today, Sunday, November 14, is World Diabetes Day, a disease that in Spain affects around 14 per cent of the population, that is a staggering 6 million people. Fresh hope has been given to these patients after the results of a recent clinical trial. Tests carried out on 5,000 people, using a pill that treats diabetes showed that it cut the risk of needing dialysis, a kidney transplant, or even death, by up to 39 per cent.
These results were published in the New England Journal Of Medicine. This is seen as a major revolutionary breakthrough in the treatment of kidney disease, helping to save hundreds of lives every year. Around 91,000 patients have now been granted access to a daily dose of this drug – dapagliflozin – by the NHS in Britain.
There is no current cure for chronic kidney disease, which costs an estimated £1.5 billion a year to the NHS. This is more than lung, breast, bowel and skin cancer combined. Treatment can only control the symptoms, such as high blood pressure. A major cause of death in kidney patients is cardiac arrest because the disease damages the heart over time.
Kidney patients often spend three days a week getting dialysis
Kidney patients have to face the gruelling procedure of dialysis, sometimes up to three times a week. There are around 30,000 in Britain who have to hook themselves up to this machine that cleans waste and excess fluid from their blood. It is hoped that the daily intake of the drug with the brand name Forxiga can cut down on these visits.
Dr Charlie Tomson from the charity Kidney Research UK, said, “The outcome of kidney failure is not much better than cancer. So anything that reduces the risk of kidney failure, or patients dying from cardiovascular disease or other causes, is welcome. This drug does both of those things”.
As a result of the tests, Health watchdog, NICE, has recommended the drug be used more widely. It will be offered alongside existing medicines that keep the kidneys working, such as blood pressure medications, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.