New treatment approved for people with CKD

A new treatment has been approved for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the UK.

Last week the UK’s medicines regulator approved a medicine called Jardiance (also known as empagliflozin) for the treatment of adults with CKD.

The next step is for the National Institute for Health and Social care (NICE) to review the drug; it will publish guidance early in 2024 on whether the treatment should be available on the NHS.

Using your views, and with patient advocates, we respond to consultations on medicines like this when NICE considers them for use in the NHS. If you’d like to get involved this work, please join Kidney Care Campaigners, our campaigners network.

Jardiance was initially used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes and has also been approved for heart failure. Its approval gives hope that it could help manage the risks for people living with these conditions; high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are the most common causes of CKD. It is are given orally, as a tablet. The availability of medications like this, which can slow down a decline in kidney function, makes it even more important and helpful to identify people with CKD at an earlier stage.

Jardiance is an SGLT2 inhibitor (sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor).

It is the second medicine of this type to be approved in the UK for use in people with CKD, following the announcement in 2021 that Forxiga (also known as dapagliflozin) could be used.

SGLT2s are a relatively new group of medications which have been approved for use in treating type 2 diabetes since 2013. They work by helping the kidneys to lower blood glucose levels by increasing loss of glucose in the urine. Like all medicines, it has side effects so any prescription of this type of drug would be given in consultation with your doctor.

Fiona Loud, Policy Director at Kidney Care UK, said: “This is a significant development for people with kidney disease across the UK, particularly the 3.7 million people who are at the earlier stages of CKD. Slowing down kidney disease can be life-changing, particularly if it reduces the chances of someone needing dialysis or a kidney transplant.”

Woman taking medication with water