Opioids and Kidney Diseases

Opioids and Kidney Diseases

/kidneynews/10_7/12/graphic/12f1.jpgAdding to previous studies suggesting that illicit drug use is associated with the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD), new research indicates that it may also put patients with established CKD at elevated risk of disease progression and early death.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the “CMS Roadmap to Address the Opioid Epidemic” in June 2018 (1). CMS stated at the time that “although some progress has been made in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate the crisis is not slowing down” (2).

Highlights of the crisis are:

When Kidney News went to print, the U.S. House of Representatives had passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. Passed with bipartisan support, H.R. 6 combines provisions from more than 50 bills approved individually by the House.

The bill is designed to help overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, bolstering prevention efforts, and trying to counter deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

Policymakers and public health officials are sounding the alarm about the opioid overdose crisis nationwide. More than 115 people die each day due to opioid-related drug overdoses, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has made combatting this epidemic one of his top priorities.

An uptick of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) cases with a presentation similar to that of a rare blood disorder, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tipped off hematologist Peter Miller, MD, that something unusual was going on. An assistant professor at Wake Forest University, Miller had read a report from the U.S.