(CTN News) – An NHS drug that costs just £1 per day will be available to over 200,000 patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease, reducing their risk of death by almost a third with this medication.
From next year, the daily tablet, which is already used to treat Type 2 diabetes, will be available on the NHS to patients with chronic kidney disease.
Scientists at Oxford University have found that empagliflozin, sold under the brand name Jardiance, reduces the need for kidney dialysis or transplantation by almost a third.
Regulators fast-tracked approval of Empa-Kidney following its results, which included 6,600 people from eight countries. According to the study, empagliflozin, produced by pharmaceutical companies Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, reduced chronic kidney disease progression or death from heart disease by 28 percent.
When kidneys deteriorate, they place increased stress on the heart, which can cause heart attacks or strokes. This causes about 45,000 premature deaths each year.
The disease progresses through five stages. In the fifth stage, kidney failure also known as end-stage renal disease or established renal failure, dialysis or a transplant may be required.
There are many people who are unaware of this condition
Approximately 7.2 million Britons have the condition, but most are unaware of it. The number of people with a diagnosis is less than two million. In its early stages, the disease is largely asymptomatic, which makes it difficult to detect since the body is able to cope with limited function.
Sleeplessness, blood in your urine, fatigue, weight loss, and shortness of breath are common symptoms as it progresses. When Kidney Diseases are not working properly, waste products from the blood can build up in the body causing other health problems.
226,000 patients would qualify for the proposed treatment because their Kidney Disease do not function normally, or because they have Type 2 diabetes, or have an excess of protein albumin in their urine.
In a similar manner to an existing treatment, called dapagliflozin, it works by inhibiting the action of the SGLT2 protein, which prevents sodium and glucose from being reabsorbed by the kidneys. A 28-day supply of the drugs costs £36.50, or £1.30 per day, but the NHS has also agreed to a confidential discount.