Why Should You Care That November is Diabetes Month? Or That Millions Worldwide Will Take The Blue Test on November 14-World Diabetes Day?
According to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (the most recent year for which data is available): 23.6 million children and adults in the United States– or 7.8% of the population — have diabetes. And another 57 million people are Pre-diabetes. Sadly, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.
And based on survey results released yesterday by the American Diabetes Association (in conjunction with Harris Interactive), Americans earn a failing grade on diabetes awareness and knowledge. In general, Americans earned a 51% when asked a series of questions about a disease so common that it strikes every 20 seconds. The survey results revealed that many diabetes myths and misconceptions still exist, while the disease’s prevalence continues to rise.
Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
When asked to rank which disease (diabetes, breast cancer, AIDS) was responsible for the greatest number of U.S. deaths each year, not even half of respondents chose diabetes (42%).
Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
A Brief Celebration of National Diabetes Month and some of the interesting and meaningful efforts to help stop the growth of diabetes.
Since November is National Diabetes Month, and in honor of my Dad, a Type II diabetic struggling with it’s complications, outlined below are 11 efforts that are trying to make a real difference with diabetes awareness, education and action. I’ve also highlighted some new people that I’ve had a chance to meet recently at two conferences: Digital Pharma and e-Patient Connections. While certainly not exhaustive, these eleven efforts work hard to teach, engage or learn (not in any particular order):
Stop Diabetes: As America earns failing grades with respect to diabetes awareness, The American Diabetes Association launches a movement: Stop Diabetes to help people share, act and learn.
The ADA is launching multi-media public service announcements that feature real people who have diabetes, and using social media to help spread the word. They’re hoping the personal stories of people with diabetes will inspire others to join the movement, volunteer to help stop diabetes, and learn more about the disease. To help get people involved, a list of events celebrating American Diabetes Month can be seen here.
“Unfortunately, numerous myths about diabetes exist, making it difficult for people to believe the science-based facts, as fear inspiring as they may be. Denial of diabetes and the promotion of inaccurate information, full of stereotypes and stigma, do not serve anyone well. The Association’s Stop Diabetes campaign aims to put a halt to this lack of awareness and misinformation so we can change the direction of diabetes prevalence in this country.” -American Diabetes Association
Lilly’s Life for a Child documentary: The award-winning documentary will make its world television debut on the Sundance Channel on World Diabetes Day – Nov. 14, 2009, at 8 p.m. EST/PST. Directed by Academy Award(R) nominee Edward Lachman, the film follows the journeys of children with type 1 diabetes amid the verdant mountains and swarming streets of Nepal, one the world’s poorest countries. The children are supported with life-saving medication and care by the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Life for a Child Program.
The Life for a Child film was produced by IDF, the world’s leading diabetes advocacy organization, and Eli Lilly, to raise awareness of the devastating impact of diabetes and increase support for the Life for a Child Program. It will be presented in association with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research. (This is also part of a bigger initiative for Lilly at Lillydiabetes.com)
Sanofi-aventis‘ Goinsulin.com:A comprehensive and well designed site with a good mix of content and interactivity using real stories/video, polls, games and a customizable doctor discussion guide to help engage and educate patients and caregivers, with links to YouTube. (Also the recent winner of a Gold Award for Best Website by MM&M -created by Intouch Solutions)
DiabetesMine: An amazing ‘gold mine of straight talk and resources for people living with diabetes.’ If you could only read one diabetes blog, this would be it. (or follow Amy Tenderich on twitter @diabetesmine)
SixUntilMe: Kerri Morrone Sparling’s blog-Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it help’s explain me. Kerri spoke at last week’s e-Patients conference; you can read her ePatient 2009: Voice of the Patient presentation here (Oct 24 blog). She made some great points: Until there is a cure, I’ll keep blogging. It helps me to heal. Or: “I’m a lifelong diabetic. Pharma’s job is to keep me alive. I use their drugs and their devices to stay healthy. THAT is their priority. I don’t care how many page views they have. If they want to have a Facebook page or something after they’ve accomplished that goal? Fine by me.” (Follow Kerri on twitter @sixuntilme)
Juvenation: A Type 1 Diabetes Community created by JDRF and in collaboration with Novo Nordisk’s changing diabetes leadership initiative. The site actively builds a community with forums and blogs and keeps on getting better. (Created by Ignite Health)
Novo Nordisk’s Partnership with race car driver Charlie Kimball: More than their twitter fame of the ‘first branded tweet’ via @racewithinsulin, Charlie is a genuine, hard working race car driverand Novo Nordisk, a company who seems earnest in their desire to help show people that even with type I diabetes, life can not only go on, but can be what you want to make of it.
Lemonade Life by Alison Blass type I Diabetes blogger who spoke at last month’s Digital Pharma conference: ”A patient is an unwilling customer”. They are ‘buying’ your medication to help their condition, but they’re not happy about the disease/condition that they have, often for life…This was part of 5 suggestions for Pharma: 1) listen 2) be honest 3) think big- beyond marketing a product 4) a patient is an unwilling customer 5) be there for me.
Through The Diabetes Ten City Challenge, sponsored by the APhA Foundation with support from GlaxoSmithKline, employers provide employees, dependents and retirees with diabetes a voluntary health benefit, waive co-pays for diabetes medications and supplies and help people manage their diabetes on a day to day basis with the help of a specially-trained pharmacist “coach”. Today, 30 employers and hundreds of local pharmacists in ten cities are working together to help people manage their diabetes. In addition, as a result of the success of the Diabetes Ten City Challenge, in 2008 the Foundation announced HealthMapRx, an initiative that makes the DTCC collaborative model of care available to employers nationwide for diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Roche: For bringing together a group of e-patients and bloggers to listen and learn about diabetes at the Roche Diabetes Social Media Seminar this summer ….Also read about DiabetesMine’s visit to the Roche New Concept Incubator. Looks like Roche is reaching out to the diabetes community to learn and collaborate…to adopt patient-centered marketing principles…
What Can You and I Do?
Take a few minutes- or more- during Diabetes month and see if you can’t learn something new or share a new piece of helpful information with others….If you have children, talk to them about the benefits of eating healthy and staying fit…A pretty scary stat: 1 out of every 3 children born today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue.
If you’re in healthcare marketing, let’s give some thought as to how we can take these programs even further, or how we might apply some of these learnings to help ‘socialize’ other medical conditions…
Comments or thoughts?