Not On the Medication Alone: This Is How Pharma Can Help Contain the Diabetes Epidemic

The growing diabetes epidemic, globally and in the U.S. specifically, is a phenomenon deeply addressed by the Pharma industry, with constant innovation and educational efforts being invested in prevention and proper treatments.

The yearly National Diabetes Month for raising awareness is a yet another great opportunity for the industry to discuss its vital role in the global efforts to prevent and treat this epidemic, and it’s in this context that this article offers Pharma another rout of action mainly through commercial operations’ DTC communications and reps-physicians relationships.

But let’s talk some numbers first.

The sheer scope

Current statistics show nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and another 86 million have pre-diabetes with risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How much does it cost us?

The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. alone is estimated at $245 billion, while worldwide diabetes constitutes for 12% of the world’s health expenditures, which is $673 billion!!! These prevalence rates raise some major concerns for both governments and healthcare providers.

But there’s good news too.

The Pharma industry has successfully developed life-saving products such as glucose-lowering, cholesterol-lowering and blood-pressure-lowering medications, which can significantly lower the risks for macrovascular and/or microvascular complications.

And with the top 10 companies producing diabetes medications reaching about $62 billion in global sales in 2014 alone- diabetes proves to be a rapidly growing market.
According to a report by GlobalData, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Merck are leading the pack, posting solid gains for their products as they compete for another piece of market share.

So, what seems to be the problem?

Oh, minor detail – Drugs don’t work on patients who don’t take them…

It seems the requirement for multiple chronic medications is highly linked to problems with medication adherence. And it turns out prevalence of non-adherence among type 2 diabetes patients is sky-high. In fact, the consequences of non-adherence have been estimated at $100 billion per year in the United States alone!

Want to learn more on the Pharma industry can hopefully influence on non-adherence?

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