Advocates from the American Society of Nephrology 21 other health care organizations (listed below) met with their representatives and senators on Sept. 19 to urge Congress to continue its historic support of research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to cosponsor and pass the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1270), no-cost legislation to eliminate barriers to living donation and increase access to transplants.

“The prevalence of kidney diseases in the U.S. is at a record high – I would even say rampant,” said Crystal A. Gadegbeku, MD, chair of the ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee. “With a tremendous need for more innovation in kidney therapies coupled with a national organ shortage, we need Congress to move both to provide kidney-specific research funding, similar to the Special Diabetes Program, which has led to a Food and Drug Administration-approved artificial pancreas – and to take steps to eliminate barriers to donation by enacting the Living Donor Protection Act.”

In January, the GAO released a report  detailing that 17% of Americans (40 million) have kidney diseases and about 680,000 have kidney failure and rely on dialysis or a transplant to live. The GAO data shows that Medicare spends nearly $33 billion on kidney failure, while the investment in federally funded kidney research is the equivalent of just about 1% of that amount.

“This year’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) report about the prevalence of kidney diseases in America and the underfunded state of kidney research should be both a wake-up call and a rallying cry for members of Congress and all Americans,” said Gadegbeku.

 

2017 year’s Kidney Community Advocacy Day participants:

Alport Syndrome Foundation

American Association of Kidney Patients

American Kidney Fund

American Nephrologists of Indian Origin

American Nephrology Nurses Association

American Society of Nephrology

American Society of Pediatric Nephrology

American Society of Transplantation

American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Children’s Organ Transplant Association

Home Dialyzors United

IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America

Lowe Syndrome Association

NATCO

National Kidney Foundation

National Renal Administrators Association

NephCure Kidney International

Polycycstic Kidney Disease Foundation

Renal Pathology Society

Renal Physicians Association

Society for Transplant Social Workers

Transplant Recipients International Organization