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AstraZeneca medicine approved for kidney disease treatment

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an often neglected condition. Hope may be on the horizon as a medication has been approved in India produced by AstraZeneca. 

kidney Image ID: 57002156 (L)The medication, dapagliflozin, is an AstraZeneca-produced medication that has previously been approved for use in the treatment of diabetes. The drug has, however, shown to have a high degree of efficacy in the treatment of both CKD and some heart conditions.

“With the approval of dapagliflozin for CKD in India, an already effective Type-2 Diabetes and select heart failure treatment can now be used by nephrologists in the management of CKD,” said Anil Kukreja, vice president of medical affairs and regulatory at AstraZeneca India. “Dapagliflozin is the first SGLT2 inhibitor to demonstrate such unprecedented efficacy in management of chronic kidney disease.” 

CKD has been noted as a major health issue globally. The global disease burden report, published in 2015, highlighted that CKD was the twelfth most common cause of death at the time. In addition, mortality rates of CKD had risen by 37.1 percent over the preceding ten years. Globally, the condition is estimated to affect around seventy crore individuals.

In India, CKD has a sizeable footprint. As noted last year by Health Issues India 

“Across India, the burden of kidney disease lacks precise definition and is often neglected in favour of persistent challenges posed by communicable diseases or more high-profile noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease [or] cancer. However, kidney disease is believed to affect one in every ten Indians and almost five lakh Indians are believed to be in need of treatment with dialysis. Overall, kidney disease is believed to be the eighth leading cause of death in the country.”

In India, the vast swathes of individuals who are affected by the condition warrant a vast waiting list for those hoping to receive a kidney transplant. This has resulted in a national crisis in regards to organ donation. According to Apollo Hospitals chairman Dr Prathap C. Reddy, just 3,500 organ transplants are conducted yearly despite there being an estimated one million people in India suffering from end-stage organ failure.

The approval of the AstraZeneca medication presents a new hope that those suffering from kidney disease may avail treatment. However, for the many who live with the condition without diagnosis, long-term complications can result in the need for transplants becoming a necessity. In addition to medications being made available, information must be spread. This will allow for the disease to be picked up in the earliest stages, where treatment outcomes are significantly more positive.

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