UK – NICE turns down hyperkalaemia therapies

Preliminary guidelines released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence do not recommend NHS funding for hyperkalaemia treatments Lokelma and Veltassa.

Hyperkalaemia is characterised by elevated potassium levels in the blood. Risk of developing the condition increases significantly for patients with chronic kidney disease and for those who take life-saving medications for heart failure, such as renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, which can increase potassium in the blood.

There is a need for new treatment approaches for hyperkalaemia, as currently RAASi therapy is either reduced or discontinued in patients with high levels of potassium, but effective management of elevated levels could allow patients with CKD and heart failure to carry on taking RAASi therapy.