Overcoming barriers to implementing new guideline-directed therapies for chronic kidney disease

Robert Nee*, Christina M. Yuan, Andrew S. Narva, Guofen Yan, Keith C. Norris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


For the first time in many years, guideline-directed drug therapies have emerged that offer substantial cardiorenal benefits, improved quality of life and longevity in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and type 2 diabetes. These treatment options include sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. However, despite compelling evidence from multiple clinical trials, their uptake has been slow in routine clinical practice, reminiscent of the historical evolution of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin II receptor blocker use. The delay in implementation of these evidence-based therapies highlights the many challenges to optimal CKD care, including: (i) clinical inertia; (ii) low CKD awareness; (iii) suboptimal kidney disease education among patients and providers; (iv) lack of patient and community engagement; (v) multimorbidity and polypharmacy; (vi) challenges in the primary care setting; (vii) fragmented CKD care; (viii) disparities in underserved populations; (ix) lack of public policy focused on health equity; and (x) high drug prices. These barriers to optimal cardiorenal outcomes can be ameliorated by a multifaceted approach, using the Chronic Care Model framework, to include patient and provider education, patient self-management programs, shared decision making, electronic clinical decision support tools, quality improvement initiatives, clear practice guidelines, multidisciplinary and collaborative care, provider accountability, and robust health information technology. It is incumbent on the global kidney community to take on a multidimensional perspective of CKD care by addressing patient-, community-, provider-, healthcare system-and policy-level barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-541
Number of pages10
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist
  • nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist
  • sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor


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