Diabetes complications 'hike costs three-fold'
Dubai, December 8, 2011
There is a three-fold increase in annual treatment costs for patients with complications relating to diabetes compared to diabetes patients without complications, a study said.
The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) yesterday announced the results from its initial research collaboration with Lilly, launched one year ago.
The research focused on understanding the burden and costs of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, with specific analyses on complications, treatment patterns, patient outcomes and projected risk.
The resulting data is being shared with regional and global experts in the treatment of diabetes at the International Diabetes Federation’s World Diabetes Congress (WDC) currently taking place in Dubai (December 4 – 8).
Dr Oliver Harrison, director of public health and policy at HAAD, explained the importance of the research and its outcomes. “Diabetes is a growing global epidemic and cost burden. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi ranks second highest in the world in terms of diabetes prevalence, and that is among a young population. In our aim to understand the cost burden of diabetes and its complications in Abu Dhabi, the research has revealed a number of findings which will help us to shape public health policy.
“For example, we found a threefold increase in annual treatment costs for patients with complications relating to diabetes as compared to diabetes patients without complications. This data suggests that programs, procedures or medical solutions that can help prevent or delay complications in diabetic patients might not only be cost-effective, but more importantly could help to increase patients’ quality of life, and potentially reduce the number of diabetes related deaths in the emirate,” Dr Harrison said.
The research, which combined the expertise of HAAD in population-based data collection and screening programs with Lilly’s data analysis and interpretations capabilities, also provided insights into the treatment of cardiovascular disease, particularly among diabetes patients.
In one study comparing the experience of patients in Abu Dhabi with those suffering from similar medical problems in the US, data indicated a need for more aggressive treatment with anti-hypertensive medication to help regulate blood pressure in diabetes patients, a finding which supports international guidelines.
Joachim Becker, senior advisor, Lilly Diabetes strategy for Emerging Markets, explained the objective of Lilly’s collaboration with health authorities.
“Lilly aims to develop meaningful and tailored collaborations, with projects based on identified partner’s needs, and solutions drawn from the strengths of all partnered organizations, with the common objective of controlling the progression of diabetes. With every project, Lilly wants to support the creation of self-sustaining, best practice models that encourage replication beyond project geographic borders,” Becker said. – TradeArabia News Service