At ASN Kidney Week 2017, Bruce D. Greenstein, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Chief Technology Officer, highlighted the need for innovation in the nephrology space.
While citing that each year more than 100,000 Americans start hemodialysis, Mr. Greenstein shared his personal connection with kidney failure and dialysis. Mr. Greenstein’s mother was on dialysis for fourteen years and he shared his observation that not much changed between her last round of dialysis and her first. The experiences of kidney disease patients, like Mr. Greenstein’s mother, the need for us to envision a world in which kidney disease patients and their care partners can live meaningful, productive lives. A world in which patients no longer even need dialysis.
The United States Renal Data System released its 2020 Annual Data Report, featuring the latest data accumulated through 2018. This report, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, provides an overview of the impact of kidney disease on the US population. The annual report developed by the USRDS serves as an invaluable resource for ASN and the kidney community in determining policy priorities and advocacy efforts. In addition to familiar findings health outcomes and health care spending related to kidney disease and kidney failure, the 2020 Annual Data Report reviews the impact of COVID-19 on kidney patients.
On April 16, 2020, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) published two notices (NOT-DK-20-023, NOT-DK-20-024) that made a significant and startling announcement. NIDDK announced the Division of Kidney, Urologic, & Hematologic Diseases (KUH’s) will no longer participate in the traditional National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 Program, and will instead participate in a new Institutional Training Program.
NIDDK is establishing a nominal payline for new (Type 1) and renewal or competing continuation (Type 2) R01 applications of 16th percentile in FY 2020, which is higher than the 13th percentile in FY 2019.
Center for Scientific Review’s Elimination of Study Section Perilous to Kidney Community
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) oversees peer review of NIH grant applications. CSR recently announced a change to study sections that will have a significant effect on the kidney community.
NIH grant applications are reviewed by content experts in study sections relevant to the application. CSR reduced the number of study sections for Gastrointestinal, Renal, Endocrine Systems by one section. Eliminating a kidney study section results in grants being assigned to broader sections that focus on issues outside of nephrology as well. This can negatively impact the quality of the review and reduce the probability of a grant being funded.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Department of Policy and Public Affairs team has received numerous questions from interested members and from the broader kidney community on the recent Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health and the accompanying Department of Health and Human Services report highlighting specific initiatives. In order to engage with our members, we will be running a series in Kidney News Online that addresses these questions. This is the first piece in that series.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Department of Policy and Public Affairs team has received numerous questions from interested members and from the broader kidney community on the recent Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health and the accompanying Department of Health and Human Services report highlighting specific initiatives. In order to engage with our members, we will be running a series in Kidney News Online that addresses these questions. This is the second piece in that series.
Several initiatives have been implemented by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in order to foster kidney research and encourage research investigators as the NIH Division of Kidney, Urologic, & Hematologic Diseases (KUH) saw a 2% decrease in funding from the 2019 NIH budget.
Below is a list taken from an upcoming article in Kidney News March issue.
On Monday, April 29, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations (LHHS) Subcommittee released their Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The draft provides a total of $41.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $6.9 billion above President Trump’s budget request.
The LHHS increase is a direct result of the countless emails, meetings, and phone calls made by members of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) to their legislators and constitute a significant victory for the more than 40 million Americans living with kidney diseases. While the LHHS appropriations falls short of ASN’s request from earlier this year for $2.5 billion for NIH, with a proportional increase to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the appropriated increase is a welcome effort to sustain current research levels and keep pace with medical inflation.
Cutessa Bourge, a kidney transplant recipient in Alabama, and Ann Rayburn, her Alabama kidney donor, called on Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) to support the needs of the 645,665 patients with kidney disease in Alabama by supporting KidneyX in a new op-ed on Al.com. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shelby will have considerable influence on the Senate appropriations process. Ms. Bourge’s and Ms. Rayburn’s guest commentary piece can be viewed in its entirety here.