Hip-Hop Classic “It Takes Two” Takes on New Meaning in Remix to Elevate Importance of Testing for Kidney Disease

More than 35 million adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, as many as 90% of them are unaware of their condition. This is despite clinical guidelines, which show that using two tests can help detect it. That’s why Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company today announced the launch of It Takes 2 – a new health initiative to elevate the importance of complete testing and early diagnosis of kidney disease, particularly among those who have type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure and are at greater risk for it.

For It Takes 2, Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly partnered with renowned musical artist Rob Base, who – alongside collaborator DJ E-Z Rock – famously declared that “it takes two to make a thing go right” in their 1988 mega-hit “It Takes Two.” More than three decades later, the sentiment still rings true, especially when it comes to managing kidney health. To mark the initiative’s launch, Rob Base has reimagined and rerecorded his classic single specifically for this cause. By turning “It Takes Two” into “It Takes 2 – The Remix,” he is helping Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly reach key audiences to spotlight the significance of complete testing.

In addition to the new remix, the initiative addresses the critical need for complete CKD testing, with two tests, by providing tailored resources and educational content that underscore the importance of using both blood and urine tests, with dual messaging that speaks directly to healthcare professionals as well as adults at risk for CKD.

Clinical guidelines urge healthcare professionals to routinely screen for CKD using both the eGFR blood test and UACR urine test to decrease the risk of disease progression and serious, long-term complications. However, recent data reveals that less than 20% of adults with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure – two of the main risk factors for developing kidney disease – received guideline concordant testing. It Takes 2 encourages healthcare professionals to add UACR testing to screen for CKD, as eGFR testing only tells half the story.

“Testing – and specifically early testing – is a significant gap in care that can have a detrimental impact on those at risk for CKD,” said Dr. Charles Vega, M.D., FAAFP, Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion, UC Irvine School of Medicine. “The stark reality is once symptoms develop, some degree of irreversible kidney damage may have already occurred. I am proud to support an initiative that is tackling this issue head-on by energizing healthcare professionals and patients to work together and follow guidelines from leading kidney and diabetes organizations. The unique approach of It Takes 2 in reaching two different audiences with two different, but equally valuable messages is a critical step forward in improving the treatment of adults in jeopardy of developing kidney disease.”

While diabetes and high blood pressure are responsible for up to two-thirds of kidney disease cases, people may not know that they have it. Many adults do not experience symptoms until their kidney disease has advanced. Kidney disease staging is based on kidney health and is used to guide treatment decisions. It Takes 2 empowers people to partner with their healthcare professional and test early and often to identify the stage as well as the risk of progression.

“It took nearly a decade to discover that I had kidney disease, and then I developed type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which now puts me at risk for heart failure, so I know how overwhelming it can be to understand and manage these interconnected conditions,” said Thelma Barber, an advocate living with CKD. “I also know that by remembering that It Takes 2 – me and my doctor – it is possible. I’m eager to lend my voice to It Takes 2 to inspire others with cardio-renal-metabolic conditions to talk to their doctor about complete testing and utilize the informative resources that this initiative provides. By tapping into a powerful combination of nostalgia and memorability, It Takes 2 is helping bring greater recognition to kidney disease.”

It Takes 2 – The Remix, which debuts in conjunction with hip-hop’s 50th anniversary celebration this year, reinforces the initiative’s objectives with rewritten lyrics that empower people to not only listen but take action. To bring the song to life, Rob Base and Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly produced two shareable music videos for at-risk adults and healthcare professionals, which puts a modern spin on the beloved original to reflect It Takes 2 messaging. View the new videos and access educational resources on the It Takes 2 website at TestYourKidneys.com, as well as a version of the site for healthcare professionals at CKDtesting.com.

“‘It Takes Two’ is a defining piece of music history and the Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance is excited to partner with Rob Base to reinvent this song to amplify the mission of our new health initiative,” said Mohamed Eid, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.A., vice president, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Cardio-Renal-Metabolism & Respiratory Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “It Takes 2 is driving attention to the value of using two complementary tests to help identify unmet needs of the at-risk population and reduce risks associated with the growing burden of CKD.”

“Our commitment to improve care for people with cardio-renal-metabolic conditions extends beyond treatments, to include bolstering awareness of the interconnected disorders,” said Leonard Glass, M.D., F.A.C.E., senior vice president, Diabetes Global Medical Affairs, Lilly. “More than one in seven U.S. adults are affected by CKD and a majority of them are undiagnosed. It Takes 2 recognizes this public health crisis and aims to prompt action among those who are at risk, as well as those who treat them, to help transform outcomes.”

It Takes 2 is a health initiative that aims to elevate the importance of testing and early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) to help reduce the risk of serious complications down the road. The initiative provides tailored resources and educational content to empower adults at risk for kidney disease to work with their healthcare professional and request one simple urine test. It Takes 2 encourages healthcare professionals to proactively use two tests – eGFR blood test and UACR urine test – to get the full picture about CKD. Learn more about It Takes 2 and access helpful resources from the initiative’s website at TestYourKidneys.com, as well as a version of the site for healthcare professionals at CKDtesting.com.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the kidneys are damaged by any cause that affects their ability to filter the blood. Kidney disease staging is based on kidney health and is used to guide treatment decisions. Most adults in the U.S. living with kidney disease are unaware of their condition – and many do not know that they are at risk until symptoms emerge when their disease becomes advanced and irreversible kidney damage has occurred.

CKD is part of a collective group of diseases known as cardio-renal-metabolic (C-R-M) conditions that are closely intertwined and share many of the same disease-related pathways and risk factors. Dysfunction in one area of the C-R-M system may accelerate the onset of dysfunction in others. As such, people with CKD are potentially living with other C-R-M conditions, such as heart failure and type 2 diabetes. The two main causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of CKD cases.

In January 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company announced an Alliance that centers on compounds representing several of the largest diabetes treatment classes. Depending on geographies, the companies either co-promote or separately promote the respective molecules each contributing to the Alliance. The Alliance leverages the strengths of two of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to focus on patient needs. By joining forces, the companies demonstrate their commitment, not only to the care of people with diabetes, but also to investigating the potential to address areas of unmet medical need.

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term, sustainable perspective. More than 53,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the two business units Human Pharma and Animal Health. Learn more at boehringer-ingelheim.com/us/.

Lilly unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We’ve been pioneering life-changing discoveries for nearly 150 years, and today our medicines help more than 51 million people across the globe. Harnessing the power of biotechnology, chemistry and genetic medicine, our scientists are urgently advancing new discoveries to solve some of the world’s most significant health challenges, redefining diabetes care, treating obesity and curtailing its most devastating long-term effects, advancing the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, providing solutions to some of the most debilitating immune system disorders, and transforming the most difficult-to-treat cancers into manageable diseases. With each step toward a healthier world, we’re motivated by one thing: making life better for millions more people. That includes delivering innovative clinical trials that reflect the diversity of our world and working to ensure our medicines are accessible and affordable. To learn more, visit Lilly.com and Lilly.com/newsroom or follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.