Press release: 2021 European Kidney Forum: Unmet needs and challenges in access to treatments in Europe: The case of Chronic Kidney Disease Brussels

Brussels, June 21st 2021

Last Friday, on June 18th, the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA) and the MEP Group for Kidney Health hosted the 2021 European Kidney Forum ‘Unmet needs & challenges in access to treatments in Europe: The case of Chronic Kidney Disease’.

The Forum was introduced by EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, who reaffirmed her support to EKHA, the Decade of the Kidney™ campaign, and CKD patients across Europe who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MEP Hilde Vautmans and MEP Manuel Pizarro, Chair and Co-Chair of the MEP Group for Kidney Health, introduced the webinar.
“If we want to slow and prevent the growing burden of Chronic Kidney Disease while improving quality of life, all kidney replacement therapy options must become available to all patients” – MEP Hilde Vautmans

“Kidney transplantation is the gold standard treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease patients. A 2nd EU action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation would help Member States to improve access to the best treatment option for European Chronic Kidney Disease patients” – MEP Manuel Pizarro

EKHA President Prof. Raymond Vanholder presented an overview of the current landscape of access to kidney disease treatments in Europe in the context of the Decade of the Kidney™ Campaign. Danish Kidney Association Representative Henning Søndergaard shared his experience as a patient on access to different treatment options and on the need for ground-breaking innovation to make dialysis machines less cumbersome for patients.
“We need innovation in kidney care to allow every patient to choose the option that is best for them” – Henning Søndergaard, Danish Kidney Association

The Panel Discussion tackled a wide range of topics including CKD treatment modalities, the role of primary care for CKD prevention and patient education, cost-effective solutions for CKD treatment, and policy options to address challenges and gaps in access to CKD care at the EU level. Further, the severe impact of COVID-19 and lessons learnt from the pandemic were described.

The panel discussion concluded with the following recommendations:
– Improve the access to all treatment modalities for CKD patients through education of both patients and health professionals
– Encourage policy and financial incentives for cost-effective treatment options
– Accelerate innovation in kidney care
– Provide patient-centered integrated care
– Improve the use of digital health
– Apply the lessons learnt from the pandemic on the benefits of home-therapy versus in-center dialysis.

The event report is available here. The webinar replay is available here. The webinar highlights are available here.

EKHA is grateful to the following sponsors for making the 2021 European Kidney Forum possible: Hansa Biopharma, Baxter, Novartis, CSL Behring, B Braun, Astellas, Vifor Fresenius Medical Care and AstraZeneca, with the support of Amgen.

About the European Kidney Health Alliance EKHA is a common effort by stakeholders to propose solutions for the challenges of Chronic Kidney Disease in Europe through effective prevention and a more efficient care pathway intended to facilitate the provision of appropriate and affordable treatment to all Europeans equally, while promoting the highest quality of care. EKHA works on the principle that the issue of kidney health and disease must be considered at European level and that both the European Commission and European Parliament have vital roles to play in assisting national governments with these challenges.

About the Decade of the Kidney™
The Decade of the Kidney™ campaign is a pan-European campaign which aims to put the spotlight on kidney disease at EU level for the next ten years. The campaign was first initiated in the United-States by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) in 2019 and launched in Europe as part of World Kidney Day 2021 by the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA).

European Kidney Health Alliance Secretariat
Tel: +32 483 56 14 79