Report Outlines Many New Medicines in Development to Battle Diabetes Epidemic Affecting More than 30 Million Americans

Advancements in Treatments Enable Better Adherence as United States Sees Decline in the Number of New Diabetes Diagnoses

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 14, 2016) — A new report released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) highlights continued progress and ongoing efforts in the research and development of new treatments for the more than 30 million Americans with diabetes and diabetes-related conditions. According to the report, there are now more than 170 medicines in development for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and related diseases, such as chronic kidney disease. The report highlights critical advancements in treatment that enable better adherence to medications and ultimately improved quality of health for patients.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States; in addition, 86 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic, which places them at higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes. The cost of diagnosed diabetes is $245 billion in the United States, and biopharmaceutical researchers are tirelessly working to find new lifesaving and life-changing treatments and cures to address this complex disease and the costs associated with it.

“Diabetes is a challenging disease to treat and manage, especially for the more than 200,000 young Americans affected by the disease under the age of 20,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA. “There are nearly a quarter of a million children and young adults who are constantly managing a chronic condition. I’ve seen the impact this disease has had on my son and family, but the continued determination and progress of biopharmaceutical researchers who have dedicated their lives to finding new treatments and cures for diabetes provides hope for the future.”

For diabetes patients the continuous monitoring of blood sugar levels and numerous types of medications make the disease challenging to manage. The advancement of treatments and development of new medications supports better adherence by patients, which is crucial to avoiding hospitalizations. One study estimates improved adherence could avoid nearly 350,000 hospitalizations and nearly 700,000 emergency room visits each year in the United States, which results in reduced medical spending as great as $5,000 per patient annually.

The report also acknowledges a positive trend in new diagnoses of diabetes, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) citing a decrease in the rate of new diabetes cases diagnosed annually.

“We still hope for a cure, but in the meantime, the 40 medicines and vaccines in development to treat type 1 diabetes bring excitement and hope for better treatments that will enable my son and the millions of people touched by type 1 diabetes to live healthier, longer and more productive lives,” said Mila Ferrer, co-founder, Familias con Diabetes. “We are excited about the progress of ultra-rapid acting insulin, autoimmune diabetes vaccine, biosimilar insulin, oral and inhaled insulin and medications currently approved for type 2 diabetes as adjunct to insulin to improve glycemic control on people with type 1 diabetes.”

The significant number of new treatments in development offers more hope to patients and their families than ever before. At the same time, no patient should worry about whether they can afford the care they need, and we must address the factors contributing to diabetes’ patients financial burdens. Pragmatic solutions, such as enforcing common-sense rules to prevent discrimination and addressing rising out-of-pocket costs, could support patient access to diabetes treatments.

The full “Medicines in Development for Diabetes” report can be downloaded here

About PhRMA
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.

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