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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Clinicians welcome the first treatment for chronic kidney disease in over 20 years

Health Industry Hub | September 1, 2022 |

Pharma News: AstraZeneca has welcomed the reimbursement of Forxiga (dapagliflozin), a SGLT2 inhibitor, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in Australia from 1 September 2022 to reduce the risk of progressive decline in kidney function in adults with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.

This reimbursement gives patients living with proteinuric chronic kidney disease access to a new treatment option for the first time in over 20 years. 

Professor Carol Pollock OA, Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, Kolling Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, Chair of Kidney Health Australia, Chair of NSW Bureau Health Information and Deputy Chair of Australian Organ Tissue and Transplant Authority, said the reimbursement of a new treatment gives clinicians more options to help manage chronic kidney disease.

“Patients diagnosed with proteinuric chronic kidney disease currently have few treatment options. The priority is to slow the progression to dialysis and kidney transplantation. This medicine has been used to manage type 2 diabetes and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, and it is pleasing to see that it will now be available as an accessible option supporting the treatment of patients diagnosed with proteinuric chronic kidney disease,” said Professor Pollock. 

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim also made news in March when the chronic kidney disease trial for SGLT2 inhibitor Jardiance was stopped several months early due to positive results for trial participants who received the drug.

AstraZeneca’s heart failure drug first to show all-inclusive mortality benefit

Dr Kean-Seng Lim, Sydney-based general practitioner (GP), said “Availability of treatment for proteinuric chronic kidney disease will not only help manage patients who have been diagnosed with the condition but improves awareness and leads to enhanced vigilance in monitoring at-risk patients. GPs are uniquely placed to monitor patients during regular visits and can act quickly when the need arises.”

Chris Forbes, CEO of Kidney Health Australia, commented “It is essential that Australians living with chronic kidney disease have access to innovative treatments so they can better manage their condition. More broadly we need to encourage Australians to understand if they are at risk of kidney disease and if so, speak with their GP to get diagnosed early. Early diagnosis together with education, treatment and support will improve the health of the many Australians affected by the disease.”

In the Phase III DAPA-CKD trial, Forxiga, in addition to standard-of-care (SoC) treatment was superior to placebo in reducing the incidence of the primary composite endpoint of ≥50% sustained decline in eGFR, reaching end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), cardiovascular (CV) or renal death (p <0.0001).  Forxiga also significantly reduced the incidence of death from any cause compared to placebo (p=0.0035).

Benjamin McDonald, Country President at AstraZeneca ANZ, said the latest reimbursement of Forxiga demonstrates the need for new treatment options for people living with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.  

“AstraZeneca welcomes the PBS listing of Forxiga. Forxiga provides Australians with proteinuric chronic kidney disease access to a new treatment option for the first time in over 20 years. We commend the Australian Government for their commitment to Australians living with chronic kidney disease through the PBS listing of Forxiga. The PBS is critical to ensuring Australians have access to the latest innovative medicines,” said Mr McDonald.  

Chronic kidney disease can be asymptomatic and up to 90% of kidney function may be lost before symptoms are present. The disease frequently occurs alongside diabetes and cardiovascular disease and affects approximately 10% of the Australian adult population. First Nations People are approximately twice as likely to have any stage of chronic kidney disease.

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