Our 4 Billion Dollar Checking Account

| Nov 1, 1997

In 1994 there were 110.4 million people with diabetes worldwide. By the year 2010, researchers estimate the number will skyrocket to 239.3 million.

This rapidly expanding market will translate to $3.36 billion in revenue for the American diabetes products market in 1997 alone. The international research firm of Frost and Sullivan predicts that with the annual growth rate of approximately 13 percent (1994-2001) this will reach $5.64 billion by 2001. It also predicts that in 1997 monitoring devices and medications will account for 43 and 46 percent of the $3.36 billion respectively.

Even these numbers could be conservative estimates, however. Frost and Sullivan note that the current market is "under-penetrated ... with tremendous potential for growth." This growth potential hinges on the fact that, according to the National Institutes of Health, only 50 percent of the diabetes cases in the United States have been diagnosed.

The fastest growing segment of our population is made up of people between 45 and 54 years of age. This segment is expected to grow from 48 million in 1990 to 64 million by the year 2000. This will have an effect on the number of people with diabetes, as people over 40 have the greatest chance of developing the disease.

As you can tell from this article, there are a lot of statistics being lobbed around these days. In our society these statistics equal money. And now corporations are ogling the expanding diabetes market like chainsaw salesmen sizing up the last virgin rain forest.

It is our job to remind these corporations that there are people behind these statistics.

Since 1993, when the DCCT proved that intensive treatment and greater patient participation could save lives there has been a revolution in the way people view their role in diabetes management. This has caused companies to work even harder to develop new monitors, lancing devices and medications.

Numerous products targeting people with diabetes are launched every year. And as I mentioned earlier, nearly four billion will be made off of the diabetes community this year. Let these companies who are making their wealth from our health know which products are working and which ones aren't. I believe we can influence the direction of their research, but we have to speak up.

On page four we have included a listing of 800 numbers for the companies who advertise in DIABETES HEALTH. These companies are there to answer your questions and are receptive to your input and feedback.

We owe it to ourselves and our families to get involved. The least these corporations can do is listen to what we have to say.

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