Saturday, June 25, 2022

AstraZeneca Philippines and Medasia Team Up for Early Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease

In commemoration of National Kidney Month, AstraZeneca Philippines and Medasia Medical Products Corporation have signed an agreement with the aim of broadening the country's access to machine testing that can help in the early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

In 2017, CKD was seen as the 4th leading cause of premature death in the Philippines with Impaired Kidney Disease as the 9th leading cause of death and disability. In 2021, hemodialysis procedure topped the procedural cases reimbursed through Philhealth.

Dr. Nickson Austria said: “As the burden of CKD weighs heavier on patients’ shoulders, it is essential to have these patient-centric initiatives. We cannot do this alone. It is a collective effort among the medical community, patients, government, and private sectors to be able to improve the overall quality of life for Filipinos and save more patients.”

“By working in partnership throughout the entire patient care pathway, I hope we can tangibly improve CKD patient outcomes and support our healthcare systems for many years to come,” says Jo Feng, Senior Vice President of AstraZeneca Asia Area. 

Addressing the unmet need among CKD patients through the AstraZeneca and Medasia partnership

The partnership between AstraZeneca Philippines and Medasia will enable more Filipino patients to gain access to urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR) machines, which detect how much a small protein called albumin is present in the urine -- one of the earliest indicators of kidney disease. The testing may be done in doctors’ offices, hospitals or diagnostic clinics.  

Depending on the patient’s background and existing health conditions, the uACR is a simple urine test that may be taken once a year. Only a small amount of urine is needed (about two tablespoons) to do the test, which will then be checked through the uACR machine. A normal amount of albumin in urine is less than 30 mg/g. Anything above 30 mg/g may be an indication of CKD.

“CKD is highly underdiagnosed. Now that our uACR machines are more accessible to patients, we are committed to helping AstraZeneca Philippines and the medical community in addressing the root of the problem,” remarks MedAsia general manager Mr. Oliver Lim.

“In AstraZeneca, we recognize the urgency of early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic kidney disease.  We stand in unanimity with our partners to improve the healthcare ecosystem and enable solutions including disease education and broad access to diagnostics through our advocacy programs such as the Kidney Patrol which aims to Care, Know and Detect CKD. We are committed to helping improve outcomes, delay progression, and prolong dialysis-free survival for more Filipino patients,” says Lotis Ramin, AstraZeneca Philippines country president.

Recognizing the burden CKD poses on Filipino patients, AstraZeneca Philippines in November 2021 shared its commitment to address the condition through the launch of Kidney Patrol. It is an online advocacy campaign that seeks to educate patients on kidney health, including prevention of disease progression, to dialysis and its complications. The social media-based campaign also encourages Filipinos to self-screen for risk factors and consult their physicians to recognize and detect CKD early. 

Through AstraZeneca Philippines' Kidney Patrol campaign and improved uACR access through the company's partnership with Medasia, more Filipinos will be encouraged to fight the dreaded Chronic Kidney Disease with the right CKD--Care, Know, and Detect. 

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