National Diabetes Month

National Diabetes Month

11.14.12 | By Preet Bilinski

For those unfamiliar with diabetes it can be thought of as a minor hindrance rather than a life-changing disease. However, diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening illness that effects Americans across the country. This month, we join the diabetes community to feature individuals and highlight resources designed to focus attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and those who live with it each and every day.

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans-8.3 percent of the U.S. population-and about one-quarter are unaware they have the disease. Unfortunately, while the death rate due to diabetes is declining, the rate of new cases has been rising. The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled since 1980, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fighting diabetes is an enormous challenge, but one that can be overcome. Since 1990, six new classes of type 2 diabetes medicines have been approved by FDA, giving patients and providers powerful new tools to treat the condition. America's biopharmaceutical research companies are continuing the progress with 221 innovative medicines in development to help the nearly 26 million patients in the United States affected by diabetes, according to a new report. These medicines in development - all in either clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - include 32 for type 1 diabetes, 130 for type 2 and 64 for diabetes-related conditions. Examples of the potential innovations outlined in the report include:

  • A once-daily medicine that selectively inhibits the protein associated with glucose metabolism.
  • A medicine designed to inhibit an enzyme linked to diabetic neuropathy.
  • A medicine to treat type 2 diabetes that may allow for once.-weekly dosing.

Control of diabetes is possible today with the proper treatment plan including diet, exercise and medications. The medicines in the pipeline offer hope of better treatment options for this debilitating disease. During National Diabetes Month, we hope to bring greater awareness to the epidemic that our country is facing and honor all those living with or lost to his terrible disease. As long as diabetes continues to burden our communities, we must continue to make progress in prevention, treatment, and care.

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