WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) urged the Biden administration to improve the health of millions of Americans living with kidney disease by turbocharging investments in kidney innovation and research.
In a bipartisan, bicameral letter, the lawmakers call for a $25 million investment in President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget for KidneyX, a public-private partnership that aims to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney disease. The increased investments would be put toward accelerating KidneyX’s development of the world’s first artificial kidney that could replace the costly, risky, and painful dialysis and transplant processes.
“More than 37 million Americans live with kidney disease. Within that group, more than 800,000 people live with kidney failure, for which there is no cure. The only treatments are dialysis or kidney transplant. Most Americans starting dialysis will die within five years. Though some are lucky enough to receive a transplant, 13 Americans die every day waiting for a kidney to become available to them,” the lawmakers wrote.
Developing an artificial kidney and other innovations are critical to addressing the high cost of kidney disease to Medicare and the American taxpayer. Medicare currently spends approximately $150 billion annually — over 15 percent of total Medicare spending — on people with kidney disease. Treating kidney failure alone accounts for roughly $50 billion of Medicare spending each year.
“For KidneyX to reach its full potential and accelerate kidney health innovation, the federal government must increase its investment in KidneyX. With more funding, KidneyX could expand the number of innovators it supports and accelerate the development of transformative technologies, particularly the artificial kidney,” the letter continues.
The letter can be found here.