Dr Kirsten Johansen on Benefits of Oral Therapies for the Management of CKD


Kirsten Johansen, MD, director of nephrology, Hennepin Healthcare, speaks on the impact that an oral medication would have on the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) for patients both on and not on dialysis.

There are access and accessibility issues related to injectable drugs that impede management of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and orally administered hypoxia-inducible factor–prolyl hydroxylase domain inhibitors (HIF-PHIs) may prove helpful in mitigating these challenges, said Kirsten Johansen, MD, director of nephrology, Hennepin Healthcare.


What impact can the potential approval of an oral HIF-PHI have on the standard of care for patients with CKD on and not on dialysis?

On dialysis, I see a really big opportunity for our home dialysis patients especially, and especially patients who live in rural areas where they have to come a long way to the clinic because our current therapies are injectable. They've got to come in and get injections at least once a month, sometimes even more often than once a month. So, if they have an oral option that mitigates that, it's going to be something that's going to really help them a lot.

It's going to still be important to monitor their hemoglobin. But it's a lot easier to get hemoglobin drawn,that can be done in any clinic and many labs, but injections have to happen in either the nephrology clinic if they're not on dialysis or the dialysis facility, and that's a big deal for patients.

For the nondialysis patients, again, these issues of coming in to get an injectable medicine are just really key. Even more of them are working, or if they're older, they may be relying on their children who are trying to work to get them to the clinic for the injections. People may [overlook] it as convenience, but it's more than convenience. It's being able to get your medical care and live your life. So, we need better options and an oral option could be really helpful for that.

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