Leading Nephrologist Discusses Importance of Pharmacist Role In Kidney Care for ASN Kidney Week

Pharmacy Times is gearing up for Kidney Week (Nov. 3-6) by learning about the pharmacological role of kidney care from the president of the American Society of Nephrology.

The president of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), Susan Quaggin, joins Pharmacy Times to discuss the importance of the community pharmacist, the role of the pharmacist in kidney care and treatment, and some sessions that will be at ASN Kidney week.

Q: Can you speak on the pharmacists' role when it comes to kidney care delivery, and any pharmacological perspectives that will be discussed at Kidney Week 2022?

Susan Quaggin, MD, FASN, President of the American Society of Nephrology: Managing patients who are living with kidney diseases is a team sport- and physicians, nephrologists work shoulder to shoulder with the other members of the kidney health care team, which includes nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and absolutely pharmacists. Ever since 2012, our program committee (which puts together what will be presented at Kidney Week) has included a PharmD. We have a track for pharmacology with 7 sessions, focusing on things such as precision prescribing drugs that can cause acute kidney injury and pain management. And we also this year have an abstract category focused on pharmacology. So there is a lot of a lot of topics and a lot of content there for our pharmacists, teammates in the kidney health professional group.

Q: How do you think community pharmacists can better work with kidney disease patients to create local impact?

Susan Quaggin, MD, FASN: So, you know, we really depend upon our pharmacists, as as partners in caring for patients who are living with kidney diseases. And our community pharmacists are oftentimes the first or the front stop for a patient who might be having living with kidney disease. I'm actually originally from Canada, and there have been a number of programs where which have been launched to initiate prevention and identification of kidney disease right within the pharmacy. And, as I think we've all learned throughout the pandemic, the pharmacies are critical places where patients are often seen or are picking up prescriptions or are actually getting some medical care and education. So we already have terrific partnerships with our community pharmacists, but I can only hope that those partnerships continue to grow because this will absolutely impact and improve patient care.

Q: Can you offer insight on socioeconomic hurdles when accessing treatment?

Susan Quaggin, MD, FASN: I would say that one of the biggest issues in health care (not only in this country but in many countries around the globe), are the disparities in access to to actually receiving any care and access to the best treatments. And again, as we've just been living through the pandemic, I think disparities have been laid bare and there is a renewed interest in a focus on socio economic barriers and other barriers that that are limiting access to best care, and it is absolutely essential that we attack them head on. There will be a lot of activity at Kidney Week focused on addressing social and political determinants of health, looking at social and health and justices, and coming up with solutions. Even in our late breaker session at Kidney Week, we've got some clinical trials that have really addressed disparities head on. And similar to pharmacology, we have a separate abstract category that focuses on disparities. So we're looking forward to some really phenomenal presentations and discussions at Kidney Week.