The Business of Diabetes
How much does the treatment of one disease cost?
I’m not talking in terms of human toll–the amount of people afflicted, those struggling to manage their lives in the wake of a momentous diagnosis. Let’s just talk numbers. How much, on average, do you think taking care of diabetes costs each year? All those vials of insulin and medical treatments to keep your sugars in check? How much is it all worth?
The answer is 34 billion.
That number is already far too large, but even worse is that it’s not the full figure. We gleaned this from IMS Health Inc ( a well-respected analyst of the health industry), and this number does not include consumables, i.e. test strips, pump supplies, syringes, anything that must used and discarded on a regular basis. With those, we see an added 10-15 billion to the overall cost. And none of this takes into account the money put into combating the problems of this disease–neuropathy, amputations, heart problems, loss of vision, etc.
So when you really look at it, the cost of diabetes is well over 50 billion dollars a year. I can’t even conceive what that amount of money looks like, let alone the fact that’s it’s all coming from a disease I have.
Diabetes is an industry rivaling the biggest in entertainment, and this is precisely why we believe no cure will ever come out of the pharmaceutical industry. There is simply too much money to be made, and any attempts to cure the disease would surely involve some sort of daily pill/injection/treatment in order to collect a profit. Non-profits are the only true entities that stand a chance at funding a cure, and while we are critical of their spending practices, we recognize their importance to the community and the future of disease.
You can read more about our findings in our report “Partnering with Commercial Enterprise“, which discusses the inherent problems with finding a cure in the current medical system, and how charities could direct us to one if we only changed where they place donations. Go ahead and read it, and if you have any comments or questions, feel free to get in touch either on the blog, facebook, or email.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net