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Diabetes Advocates Urge Members of Congress to Support Creation of National Diabetes Coordinator

NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins Speaks on Behalf of People with

Diabetes During Congressional Briefing

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks urged Members of Congress to support a bill that will develop a national strategy to reduce diabetes and its complications in the U.S. Wilkins was joined today at a briefing on Capitol Hill by a coalition of diabetes advocates that included Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and members of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Association of Diabetes Educators and National Changing Diabetes(R) Program.

The National Diabetes Coordinator Act of 2008 (HR 4836), which amends the Public Health Service Act, would create the position of a National Diabetes Coordinator. This Coordinator would develop a national strategy to reduce the incidence of diabetes, develop a measurement tool to track progress, and provide leadership and coordination between government agencies and across public and private sectors to maximize impact. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Inslee on December 18, 2007.

"After I discovered I had diabetes, I made a personal commitment to motivate people to get screened and make positive lifestyle changes that can improve their health and their lives," said Dominique Wilkins, who discovered he had type-2 diabetes in 2000. "But without strong federal leadership on this issue, the human and economic costs will continue to mount."

An estimated 20.8 million Americans, or 7 percent of the population, have diabetes. Of the total, 6.2 million people remain undiagnosed. About 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year in the United States(1). A study released by the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program in 2007 estimates that one out of every eight federal health dollars -- $80 billion -- is spent treating people with diabetes(2).

"Diabetes is an escalating health crisis in the United States that can't be ignored," said Representative Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Unless we do something to reverse current trends, more and more of America's children will develop the disease during the course of their lifetime."

Research shows that efforts focused on diabetes prevention and early treatment can save lives and dollars; yet, the federal government spends less than $4 billion total on prevention and health promotion across all disease states(3). Investing more in prevention can help reduce the number of lives lost and the costs associated with diabetes.

"The National Diabetes Coordinator Act directly supports a principal consensus recommendation from important organizations in the healthcare community -- calling for increased federal leadership," said Jerzy Gruhn, President of Novo Nordisk. "Novo Nordisk, through the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program, is dedicated to helping defeat diabetes by supporting coordinated programs among the public and private sector to improve diabetes prevention and treatment."

"We support the efforts of Rep. Inslee to improve existing efforts for reducing diabetes and create new opportunities for the federal government to improve national leadership on this disease," said Richard Hellman, MD, the president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

"The American Association of Diabetes Educators supports the National Diabetes Coordinator Act and the effort behind it to improve the prevention, detection and care of diabetes in the United States," said Amparo Gonzalez, RN, BSN, CDE, the president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

About the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program

The National Changing Diabetes(R) Program (NCDP) is a multi-faceted initiative that brings together innovators in diabetes education, treatment 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 85-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 economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 26,000 employees in 80 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

1. American Diabetes Association. "About diabetes,", Website accessed March


2. National Changing Diabetes Program. Study of Federal Spending on

Diabetes: An Opportunity for Change. Available at:

Accessed March 2008.


SOURCE Novo Nordisk
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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