Treatment approved for disease that causes kidney failure

A new drug treatment has been approved for a desease that causes kidney failure. (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Some great news this week for the 600,000 Americans currently battling polycystic kidney disease, like Heidi Naylor of Cottonwood Heights.

She has been on dialysis for the last 13 years. The disease causes kidney failure and she has lost at least 50 relatives to it, including her grandfather, mother, sister and two brothers.

Tuesday, the FDA approved the first treatment ever for a drug called JYNARQUE (pronounced “jin-ar-queue”) It won’t cure the disease, but it will mean many others won’t have to go on dialysis – like Naylor’s two daughters.

She’s overwhelmed with the news because she has been fighting for a drug like this for a long time. She even traveled to DC back in 1998 with her young family and lobbied Congress for more funding, to find a cure.

That year, researchers did get more funding. Now, 20 years later, all the effort has finally paid off.

Even more amazing, Naylor tells us this treatment was actually discovered by accident. Patients were taking the drug for heart problems and doctors realized it was shrinking the cysts caused by PKD.

JYNARQUE should be available in four to six weeks from your doctor. There is a snag though. Experts estimate, for those who don’t have insurance, it could cost in the region of $13,000 a month.

Many people also don’t even realize they have the disease as symptoms often don’t show until people are aged between 30 and 40 years old.

More information about those symptoms and PKD in general can be found at Kidney.org.

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