World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, 2011, saw the release of the International Diabetic Federation’s (IDF) fifth edition of the Diabetes Atlas, which produced some staggering statistics for future escalation of the disease. According to a press release, figures indicate that the number of people living with the disease could rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030, if preventative measures are not considered. To put these numbers into perspective, such a dramatic rise equates to three new cases every 10 seconds, or almost 10 million each year.
“In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease,” Jean Claude Mbanya, president of IDF, said in a press statement. “We want World Diabetes Day 2011 to bring these alarming diabetes facts into the global spotlight. We demand that public and world leaders act on diabetes now.”
Low- and middle-income countries have been brought into the spotlight this year—80% of people with diabetes live in such countries. In Africa, figures indicate that diabetes cases could increase by as much as 90% by 2030, and that 78% of diabetics in Africa are undiagnosed. However, the US, with an estimated 23.7 million, has the highest number of people living with diabetes, which, sadly, goes hand-in-hand with the highest number of deaths per year at 180,000. If you think the headline is shocking, one in ten adults in North America have diabetes today. Europe fairs little better with children at high risk; the findings of the report show that 116,000 children in Europe have type 1 diabetes with 18,000 new cases in 2011—the highest number in all IDF regions.
In September, 193 Heads of State and government met at the UN High Level Meeting in New York to agree on a Political Declaration on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, which marks a major milestone. “World leaders have recognised the magnitude and impact of these diseases and the urgent need for action. In some key areas we wanted stronger commitments and targets but the Declaration will accelerate international progress on diabetes and NCDs, saving millions of people from preventable death and disability,” said Ann Keeling, IDF CEO and chair of the NCD Alliance.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and WHO and is celebrated every year on Nov. 14. It aims to address the escalating health threat of diabetes by increasing awareness of the disease. This year is the third of a five-year campaign that will focus on diabetes education and prevention programmes. The initiative is also supported by the European Medicines Agency, which plays a crucial role in the authorisation of medicines to treat diabetes in Europe and works closely with the Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust and the International Diabetes Federation.
From an industry point of view, according to an IMS Health report, the total global audited market for antidiabetics in 2010 was $34.4 billion, ranked fourth in the top 20 global therapeutic classes. The 12th Annual Pharm Exec 50 reported that antidiabetics also came fourth in the top 20 therapeutic classes by spending at $16.9 billion.