There was an interesting segment on the PBS News Hour recently looking at efforts to identify and treat the rising tide of diabetes. The report's upshot was that doctors and clinics are finding new ways to identify the disease and help patients manage it before complications set in and potentially result in more pain, possible death and skyrocketing health care costs.
Diabetes is one of a number of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, chronic diseases are a leading cause of premature death in the United States. With early identification and treatment, patients with a chronic disease can often manage their condition and live longer, healthier lives.
In addition to the pain and suffering chronic disease inflicts on Americans and their families, they are also a leading driver of overall health care costs -- amounting to about 75% of the nation's aggregate health care spending. And, appropriate treatment of a chronic condition can help to reduce spending on other health care services. All great reasons why early diagnosis and prompt, on-going treatment for these conditions are critically important.
America's biopharmaceutical research companies are working on new medicines to help diabetics manage their condition or to help prevent diabetes altogether. Currently, 235 medicines to help fight or prevent diabetes are in late stage development, testing or before the Food and Drug Administration for final approval.
For more information on the on-going fight against diabetes and other chronic diseases as well as their costs to Americans and the economy, checkout the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.