Prof. Naumnik: These drugs are a revolution. They extend the period until dialysis and extend life

Prof.  Naumnik: These drugs are a revolution.  They extend the period until dialysis and extend life

Nephrologists finally have the opportunity to use drugs that reduce patient mortality by 1/3 and double the time until dialysis is necessary. We hope that from January, the only flozin that was reimbursed for chronic kidney disease will return to the list with relaxed criteria for inclusion in reimbursement – says Prof. Beata Naumnik, nephrologist.

Flosins have proven to be a revolution in the treatment of diabetes, heart failure and chronic kidney disease: they have been proven to be life-prolonging drugs. Two of the three flozins available and reimbursed in some patient groups have temporarily disappeared from the reimbursement lists since November (this was due to reimbursement regulations), but both clinical experts and patients hope that they will return as early as January 2024.

The fact that one of the flozyns will definitely come back, and at the same time more patients with kidney failure will be able to benefit from such treatment – assured Deputy Minister Maciej Miłkowski at the Visionaries of Health 2023 conference.

Flosins in renal failure

– Nephrologists have finally received drugs that reduce patient mortality by 1/3 and double the time until renal replacement therapy is required. We need these drugs, they are usually added to the nephroprotection we have had so far, they work fantastic and are very well tolerated. We have learned how to use them, they cause few complications, patients tolerate them well and are willing to use them – noted Prof. Beata Naumnik from the Department of Nephrology and Transplantology with the Dialysis Center of the Medical University of Białystok.

She emphasized that so far, the only flozin available for reimbursement for patients with chronic kidney disease (dapaglifozin) was removed from the reimbursement list. – The company has maintained the current reduced price, for which we thank you. If the price were three times higher, fewer patients would certainly benefit from the treatment at the end of the year – said prof. Naumnik.

She also emphasized that nephrologists are also fighting for the relaxation of reimbursement criteria, which will allow patients to start treatment earlier without leading to the development of the disease. Currently, a patient can qualify for reimbursed flozin if he meets two conditions at the same time: albuminuria and proteinuria; nephrologists want one to be enough for inclusion: albuminuria or proteinuria, which already indicates kidney damage and that the disease is developing. New trial results for the second drug from the flozin group (empagliflozin) have shown that patients with earlier stages of kidney disease also benefit from flozin treatment.

Delay the need for dialysis and stop the progression of the disease

Rajmund Michalski, president of the National Moje Renki Association, talked about what the life of dialysis patients is like. – We try to make the lives of dialysis patients as normal as possible. However, everything should be done to prevent the development of chronic kidney disease and the need for dialysis, he emphasized.

– I have been struggling with kidney disease all my life. It is important to educate patients and treat them in such a way that dialysis is not necessary. In the case of hemodialysis, patients are excluded from normal life, they have to spend 4-5 hours at dialysis centers, which often excludes them from normal life, studies and work. Peritoneal dialysis is more patient-friendly. We try to ensure that the lives of dialysis patients are as normal as possible, but we must do everything to prevent the development of the disease and the need for dialysis, noted the president of the association.

Deputy Minister Maciej Miłkowski, who was present at the debate, announced that from January one of the flozyns will definitely be back on the reimbursement lists. He also announced that he would agree with the opinion of nephrologists and change the qualification criteria for reimbursement of flozins in renal failure.

– I would like to thank the Minister for announcing these important changes for patients – commented Prof. Naumnik.

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