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Diabetes Advocates Call For National Strategy, Leadership to Reduce Diabetes and Advance Detection and Treatment

WASHINGTON, July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Changing Diabetes((R)) Program (NCDP) recently called for the creation of a National Diabetes Coordinator to develop and implement a nationwide strategy to reduce the incidence of diabetes and its devastating complications.

A study commissioned by NCDP showed that 18 of 21 federal agencies impact the disease of diabetes. The coordinator would be responsible for establishing priorities in the fight against diabetes and aligning efforts across all agencies to eliminate duplication and maximize impact.

"While mortality rates of major diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke are down, diabetes rates continue to rise," said Dana Haza, Senior Director of the NCDP, an initiative created by Novo Nordisk to drive systems change at the national and local level. "It is impossible for 18 agencies to coordinate a response without designated oversight and leadership. That's why we must take immediate action to align all diabetes efforts with a national strategy if we are going to succeed in the fight against this costly and debilitating illness."

The NCDP launched an e-petition so that the diabetes community can voice its support for new government leadership dedicated to fighting diabetes and pre-diabetes, which cost the nation more than $218 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity. The e-petition, which is targeted to Congress and the Obama Administration and is designed to show a groundswell of support for a National Diabetes Coordinator, is available at

"There is no doubt that diabetes is an epidemic that needs to be addressed at the highest levels of government," Haza said. "Today there are 24 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes and another 57 million with pre-diabetes."

The coordinator would be responsible for developing and implementing a national strategy to reduce the incidence, progression and impact of diabetes by linking government agencies with public and private sector efforts. This coordination would extend across federal and state levels to community public health agencies.

"By harnessing all these government resources, we will be able to increase detection of diabetes and improve the care of those who have the disease, maximize treatment and research into new medicines, and work aggressively to prevent the disease in populations at greatest risk," said Lana Vukovljak, Chief Executive Officer at the American Association of Diabetes Educators. "All this will be done with an eye toward saving taxpayers money through better alignment of government resources.

Among the NCDP member associations in support of the National Diabetes Coordinator position are The American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and American Optometric Association (AOA).

"The social and economic costs of diabetes are staggering to American patients, families, and humanity as a whole. A National Diabetes Coordinator will help ensure coordination of diabetes research, education and outreach efforts across the spectrum of federal agencies."

Ted Epperly, MD

President, AAFP

"Our hope is that the creation of a National Diabetes Coordinator will provide the leadership necessary to promote and encourage early diagnosis and treatment, and efficiently and effectively reduce the incidence, progression and impact of diabetes - ultimately saving lives, America's vision and taxpayer resources."

Peter H. Kehoe, O.D.

President, AOA

About Diabetes

Known as the "silent killer," diabetes is the fifth-deadliest disease in the U.S. In addition to its effects on the nation's health, diabetes also takes a toll on the economy. The direct and indirect economic costs for diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes in 2007 were an estimated $218 billion, according to a recent Lewin Group study commissioned by NCDP. In 2005, the federal government spent nearly $80 billion on diabetes treatment, with only $4 billion of this amount invested in prevention and health promotion.

Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes and another 57 million have pre-diabetes. Research shows that a child born after the year 2000 has a one in three chance of developing diabetes, and minority children have a one in two chance of developing diabetes.

About the National Changing Diabetes((R)) Program

The National Changing Diabetes((R)) Program (NCDP) is a multi-faceted initiative that brings together leaders in diabetes and policy to improve the lives of people with diabetes. NCDP strives to create change in the U.S. health care system to provide dramatic improvement in the prevention and care of diabetes. Launched in 2005, NCDP is a program of Novo Nordisk. For more information, please visit

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company with an 86-year history of innovation and achievement in diabetes care. The company has the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems. In addition to diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as hemostasis management, growth hormone therapy, and hormone therapy for women. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to social responsibility to employees and customers, environmental soundness and economic success. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 27,550 employees in 81 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For global information, visit; for United States information, visit

SOURCE National Changing Diabetes Program
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