Brittle Diabetes Foundation (BDF) Reflects on Diabetes as a Business
Venice, Fl., Nov.8, 2017. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. It is epidemic in the USA, pandemic globally. The number of people with diabetes (PWD’s) in the USA now exceeds 30 million while the number globally is approaching 450 million growing faster in low to middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
There are two predominant types of diabetes. Type two that impact 90% to 95% of the world’s population and the balance, some 5% to 10%, diagnosed as type 1.
There are many Non-Profit Organizations (NPO’s) that thrive on donor funding. Evaluating whether an NPO seeking donations for diabetes is successful is dependent on three elements: its’ ability to prevent, cure, and/or improve management of the disease.
But, when looked at from a business perspective, these three elements take on a different connotation. Prevention is bad for business because it leads to a reduction in those requiring care. A cure for the masses is extremely bad for business while a cure, with limited patient application, is good for business if the cure rate does not exceed newly diagnosed cases. The key to a successful business is bringing patients back for on-going care. Therefore, growth of business is enhanced in the medical field by focusing primarily on continued management of diabetes.
As in any business arena, there are those who will reap the rewards of business expansion. When applied to diabetes the beneficiaries include Big Pharma, The Food Industry, Hospitals, Physicians and NPO’s who raise hundreds of millions of dollars per year under the guise of searching for a cure.
Prevention efforts on the part of NPO’s has proven to be a dismal failure. Despite their efforts, the number of adults with Diabetes has quadrupled in just the last 30 years with 54 million Americans projected to be afflicted by the year, 2030. As a result, the business of Diabetes is forecast for major exponential growth.
The patentable types of cure presently evolving require a return on investment suggesting that the cost of the cure will be limited to those who can afford the hefty price tag associated with its application. Whether insurance carriers will pay for coverage is questionable. From a business perspective, cure application should be at a rate less than newly diagnosed cases, a trend good for business growth.
The development of new insulin analogues for type 1, pharmaceuticals for type two. and new devices like an artificial pancreas insures management growth potential.
The business of Diabetes is now estimated to be 312 billion dollars (2015) in the USA and 825 billion worldwide (not including work lost). The expectation is that medical business growth will exceed one trillion dollars by 2020.
BDF recommends that before donating or raising funds for any NPO seeking a cure for diabetes, one should evaluate their effectiveness. If the NPO’s prevention program is failing and their spending little on cure with primary focus on management with ties to Big Pharma and the food industry, BDF suggests you restrict your donation to areas of interest to you. A restricted gift insures the money being gifted will be used solely for “research to find a cure”, and not to fund salaries exceeding national averages..
Trends in disease advancement can be obtained from a variety of sources including: Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for global statistics.
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Emanuel V. Sorge Ph.D.
Brittle Diabetes Foundation