Thrilled chronic kidney disease drug approved for use


pic: Michael Pickard

Michael Pickard was diagnosed with reduced kidney function in 2019

A local man who took part in a study into a drug for chronic kidney disease says he is “thrilled” it has been approved for use in the NHS.

Michael Pickard joined the University of Oxford’s EMPA-KIDNEY trial, which was supported by the National Institute for Health and Care.   The drug – empagliflozin – slows the progression of the disease, which can eventually lead to kidney failure.   It was approved for use in December.

More than 6,600 people participated in the study globally, including 68 at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The study found that taking a single dose of empagliflozin every day prevents the worsening of kidney diseases or deaths from heart disease in people who have chronic kidney disease.

Eighty-two year old Mr Pickard from Upper Brailes was diagnosed with reduced kidney function in 2019, after a routine blood test and joined the trial in November 2020.

He said: “I spoke about the study with my GP and he thought it was worth doing. I thought that if there’s some chance of this helping my condition, then it’s worth it.”

About 7.2 million UK people have chronic kidney disease.

Mr Pickard added: “I was thrilled to hear that the drug is now available on the NHS for people with this condition and I’m pleased that I played a small part in making that happen.”

Professor William Herrington, Clinician Scientist at the Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford, and EMPA-KIDNEY trial Chief Investigator, said: “Thanks to the commitment of the trial participants and our collaborators around the world, EMPA-KIDNEY has demonstrated clear results. This NICE guidance should greatly help implementation of these important findings into clinical practice for people living with chronic kidney disease.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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