More Diabetes Economics: What the…?!

Looking over the sources for my last post, an anvil hit me: according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates here, on a global basis, 45% of health budgets is spent on diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses. That would make diabetes, by most counts, the world’s leading disease, overshadowing even AIDS in sheer scope and costs!! Think about it.

OH BUT WAIT: That site features a dreaded Statistical Typo, in which all short dashes have mysteriously disappeared… double-checking the original British source site, that would be 4-5% of health budgets spent on diabetes, an “expenditure also forecast to increase rapidly.”

Hockey_stickRight… whew! Had me going there for a minute. But there are a number of quite eye-opening (and accurate) additional factoids to wrap your head around:

- A person with diabetes incurs medical costs that are two to five times higher* than those of a person without

- WHO estimated 30m people worldwide had some form of diabetes in 1985

- by 2000, the number had increased to 177m

- WHO projections now suggest that the number of people suffering from diabetes will reach nearly 370m by 2030

- the American market for
diabetes drugs and supplies has grown rapidly in recent years, to account for
57% of world sales, compared with less than 50% in 1998

- The diabetes market is concentrated in the hands of six key players, who
account for 75% of global diabetes sales:

1) Eli Lilly, with ca. 16% market share
2) Takeda (Japan – Actos), with almost 15% share
3) Novo Nordisk
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
5) Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)
7) Aventis

- oral antidiabetics, insulins, and other “innovative products” for diabetes face increasing competition from lower-priced generics and, in Europe, parallel imports (*Considering the first item, above, Thank God for that, at least!)

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