April 2017: News Briefs

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Living Organ Donors Introduced

In early March, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced the Living Donor Protection Act of 2017. The bill is intended to protect the rights of living organ donors, according to a press release from Mr. Nadler’s office.

The act includes three mechanisms to protect donors: (1) prohibition of life, disability, and long-term care insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage and from charging higher premiums for living organ donors; (2) clarification that living organ donors may use Family and Medical Leave Act time to recover from the surgeries and procedures involved in the donation; and (3) direction to the US Department of Health and Human Services to update their materials on live organ donation to reflect the new protections and encourage individuals to donate an organ.

The bipartisan bill has the support of groups that advocate on behalf of organ transplantation, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American Society of Transplantation, the National Kidney Foundation, the American Society of Nephrology, Waitlist Zero, and the Renal Physicians Association.

Presentations on Triferic® at Dialysis Conference

Rockwell Medical presented a poster and two oral presentations on Triferic® at the Annual Dialysis Conference, March 11-14, in Long Beach, California, according to a press release from the company. Triferic is Rockwell’s late-stage investigational iron-replacement drug to treat iron deficiency in patients who chronic kidney disease receiving hemodialysis. It is the only FDA-approved therapy indicated to replace iron and maintain hemoglobin in that patient population.

The poster, presented by lead author Ajay Gupta, MD, was titled Ferric Pyrophosphate Citrate (Triferic): One Month Intraperitoneal Toxicology and Toxicokinetic Study. The poster was presented on Sunday, March 12 and again on Monday, March 13.

Raymond Pratt, MD, Sarah Grimberg, and Ajay Gupta, MD, made the first of two oral presentations on Monday, March 13: Pharmacokinetics of Triferic Administered IV and Via Dialysate. Later that day, Dr. Pratt, Dr. Gupta, Mark Bush, PhD, and Scott Brantley, PhD, presented a session titled Pharmacokinetics (PK) of Triferic Administered IV to Healthy Volunteers: Modeling Diurnal Iron and Additivity of Triferic Iron.

The conference is an international gathering of practitioners and researchers who meet to discuss current developments in dialysis. Sessions are designed for health professionals involved in established dialysis programs, as well as those working in new and emerging programs.

DaVita Announces Key Personnel Hires

DaVita Inc., provider of kidney care services in the United States, has issued press releases to announce two personnel selections. Bryan Becker, MD, MMM, FACP, CPE, has been selected as chief medical officer of VillageHealth, a subsidiary of DaVita that specializes in integrated kidney care and health management in the renal patient population.

According to the press release, VillageHealth’s integrated kidney care programs have enjoyed significant improvements in patient outcomes and a larger portfolio for integrated patient care. Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care, said, “Dr. Becker is the right person to build on this success and add focus and value to his rich experience in this area.”

“It’s imperative to make a clear case for the benefits of care coordination to patients and physicians as our healthcare system evolves. The VillageHealth team has been a leader in this effort, and I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with medical directors and operational leaders to offer programs that achieve those ends,” Dr. Becker said.

In a second press release, DaVita announced that Adam Weinstein, MD, will join DaVita Kidney Care as vice president of medical affairs, within the office of the chief medical officer. Dr. Nissenson said, “Dr. Weinstein’s extensive background in healthcare policy and regulation, as well as his wide-spread knowledge in IT, brings unparalleled expertise to DaVita. This unique combination will allow Dr. Weinstein to work directly with clinical IT while closely supporting DaVita’s physician electronic health record team.”

ANNA Issues Call for Abstracts

The American Nephrology Nurses Association has issued a call for abstracts and proposals for the 2018 National Symposium. The meeting will be held April 15-18, 2018, at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Proposals are requested for 60 to 75 minute presentations; abstracts are requested for 15-minute verbal poster presentations. The submission deadline for proposals is June 19, 2017; the deadline for abstracts is October 30, 2017.

Proposal and abstract submission forms are available here: http://bit.ly/2m2xAFs

ASN Offers Board Preparation Course

The American Society of Nephology (ASN) is offering an interactive course for preparation for the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Nephrology Board certification and recertification examinations. The ASN Board Review Course & Update is structured and scheduled to maximize participants’ readiness for the examination.

The course provides a comprehensive update for practicing nephrologists. Each topic section is patterned after the ABIM nephrology examination blueprint. Key knowledge is reinforced with lectures, interactive case discussions, and panel Q&A sessions. The course includes complimentary access to all lectures online following the course and up to 61.75 CME credits and MOC points.

The course will be offered at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, July 29-August 3, 2017. More information available here: http://bit.ly/2mYGbNy

David Domzalski Named to Rockwell Medical Board

Rockwell Medical has announced that David Domzalski has been nominated to join the company’s board of directors. Mr. Domzalski’s nomination is to replace Ken Holt, whose term is expiring.

In a press release in March, Robert L. Chioini, founder, chairman, and CEO of Rockwell Medical, said, “David has a proven track record at a senior level in the pharmaceutical industry. He has extensive experience in building commercial organizations and launching products, which will be helpful as we commercialize Triferic® globally.”

Mr. Domzalski said, “I am excited to join the Rockwell Medical board of directors at this exciting time for the company. I look forward to working with the executive team and the board and contributing to the successful launches of their drug products into the global marketplace.”

Mr. Domzalski is the president of the US subsidiary of Foamix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has a record of achievement in new product launches and life-cycle management across multiple therapeutic classes, according to the Rockwell press release.