Healthcare costs

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Lower income families feel the pinch in the USA

The growing diabetes crisis in the United States is a well reported fact. Nevertheless, diabetes-affected families are often being left out in the cold. Many are forced to dig deeply into their own pockets because, in many cases, even if insurance is available, insulin, syringes and blood glucose testing equipment as well as medical services such as outpatient education, so essential for diabetes care, are not covered.

Getting governements to listen to economic facts

Over £5.2 billion a year – 9 percent of the entire National Health Service budget – is spent on diabetes and its complications in the UK. There is no doubt that diabetes is a significant health economic issue here, as it is elsewhere in the world. Although diabetes is not consistently high on the government’s priority list, Diabetes UK has been successful in forming a strong lobby, which is increasing in political weight.

The next step: the diabetic foot - costs, prevention and future policies

Of all the serious and costly complications affecting individuals with diabetes – heart disease, kidney failure and blindness – foot complications take the greatest toll.

Diabetes efforts with limited resources in Tanzania

The Tanzania Diabetes Association, established in 1985, is playing a crucial role in providing people in this extremely impoverished country with essential diabetes care. What, at the outset, may have seemed nearly impossible through a lack of funds, has, nevertheless, come into being through a well organized strategy and clear objectives.

Wanted! Cost-effective solutions in diabetes care

As daunting as the overall costs of diabetes are, the day-to-day challenge for individuals with diabetes and policy makers relates to choices in diabetes care. What benefits do various choices of intervention provide and at what cost? Whether these questions are asked at an individual or national level, knowing the answers is fundamental to cost-effectiveness.

Argentina's crisis triggers health emergency - The diabetes community's response

Diabetes affects an estimated 3.3% of the adult population in Argentina. For many of these people, insulin is a life-sustaining drug. Without uninterrupted access to insulin, people dependent on this drug for survival face the real possibility of death, some within days. The collapse of the reimbursement system and speculation have caused grave interruptions in the supply of medicines such as insulin and now an emergency response is expected from the Argentinean authorities.

Expensive new drugs: NICE or not so nice?

Around the world, healthcare services face increasing demands from aging populations, with high disease burdens and expensive new ways of managing them. Many new drugs and other health technologies cost considerably more than those they supplant, but may only give a proportionately small health gain. As a result individuals, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and national health services are forced to take decisions on which new therapies can be afforded for whom.

Barriers to insulin accessibility: a hazard to life and health

For many people with diabetes insulin is essential to health. Indeed, there are few other conditions where the replacement of a hormone that the body has ceased producing can make an acute difference between life and death. Nevertheless, a recent data-gathering project in Central and Eastern Europe illustrated that, almost 80 years after its discovery, access to insulin supplies is still problematic.

Self-care: an important and cost-effective investment

The elevated cost of diabetes can be seen as the result of all previous failures of treatment. As illustrated in this article, treating diabetes complications is far more expensive than taking preventative measures. Future cost cutting, therefore, can only be achieved by improving the level of care, especially in the field of self-management. People with diabetes must be given the means to do this, which can only be attained by future investment.

Cost-effective approaches to diabetes care and prevention

Diabetes is one of the most costly diseases ever in both human and economic terms. To reduce today's burden and that on future generations, it is in everyone's interest that cost-effective measures to prevent diabetes are identified and implemented. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Task Force on Diabetes Health Economics has just completed a review of the evidence on cost-effective approaches to diabetes care and prevention. The timely publication shows that investment in diabetes care can be a cost-effective use of scarce resources. This article provides a brief summary.

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