Support for Prevention Strategies: Case for Reducing Costs Through “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act”
(H.R. 3/S.5). Issu...
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Position Paper On Diabetes Prevention Through Stem Cell Research

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Position Paper On Diabetes Prevention Through Stem Cell Research

  1. 1. Support for Prevention Strategies: Case for Reducing Costs Through “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” (H.R. 3/S.5). Issues in Current Health Care Policies: UC Irvine HCEMBA – 09 Manas Kanungo The Appeal: If President of ADA1, the single most far reaching initiative I would push would be for Embryonic Stem Cell Research for Diabetes, which offers hope for a cure and better treatments for diabetes. Embryonic stem cell research, as opposed to adult stem cells, has demonstrated significantly more positive results. This, along with increasing abilities to identify genes involved in pancreatic development, allow scientists to better identify, explore, and correctly sequence and produce necessary proteins, and control and direct stem cells to grow new insulin producing beta and islet cells in the pancreas. These cells could cure type 1 diabetics and provide powerful tools to better control type 2 diabetes (roughly 90% of diabetics). Although finding a cure and better treatment modalities for diabetes with embryonic stem cells would have negative impacts on some current businesses in this area, it will have immeasurable positive health as well as financial outcomes, while creating new business models more suited for our future: The Challenges & Facts: Chronic (life-long) diseases are the #1 cause of death and disability and account for 70% of today’s $2.3Trillion health care system costs. Amongst chronic diseases diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death that has increased 45% since 1987 and is the most pervasive, in that it is also the leading cause of other vascular diseases of the heart, kidney, eye, blood vessels, and nerves. According to latest reports from CDC, NIH, and ADA: 8% of population or 24M in the US are diabetic (diagnosed and undiagnosed), of which 12.2M are > 60 yrs old 4-8% of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes, of which 15% become long-term diabetics Diagnosed diabetics cost $115-$130 Billion or 1-in-5 of direct health care (1-in-4 Medicare) dollars spent in the USA Annual cost of health care for a diabetic is $11,744/yr, 57% or $6,649 of which is directly related to diabetes Additional $58 Billion is lost in indirect (productivity) costs from those diagnosed Above 2007 estimates do not include impacts from the 6M (31%) still undiagnosed, 57M pre-diabetics who will become diabetics, and new diabetics who are diagnosed every 21 seconds in the US Diabetes also causes 2-4 times more heart diseases and stroke, 60% of amputations, 44% of new cases of kidney diseases, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness …all of which have significant additional related costs Diabetics are growing 8% annually in the US, with 1-in-3 ( 1-in-2 minorities) projected to have the disease by 2050 Worldwide, diabetics are projected by IDF (2006 Diabetes Atlas) to grow over 54% from 246M (6% prevalence) in 2007 to about 380M by 2025 (7.3% prevalence), with 80% of all new diabetes cases coming from low-mid income countries, and with highest numbers of diabetics and annual growth coming from the emerging/BRIC countries. The Opportunities: Health care reform is one of the priorities of the newly elected Obama administration, due to accelerating costs and growing older populations versus insufficient funds to support current and future expenditures. Prevention being one of the cornerstones of this initiative, we have a window of opportunity to set policies, implement procedures, and use realistic long-term measurement parameters, for ethical embryonic and genetic research towards finding a cure and better solutions to reduce incidence, prevalence, and the burden of diabetes care. We can reduce future costs & increase productivity significantly, given diabetes is a major component of chronic diseases that account for 70% of direct health care costs, with additional reduced impact from other cardio-vascular diseases. Long-term benefits significantly outweigh short-term concerns, with perfect timing and mass movement supporting this initiative. The Hurdles: “One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison”: Cure, prevention, and/or better control through embryonic stem cells would cause major paradigm shifts and changes in several business, professional, as well as political areas in our current system: Special interest groups who trade their votes will no longer have leverage; however this may not be such a bad thing! Diabetes will become a short-term versus long term disease, with reduced and/or different types of needs from insulin, glucose monitoring, and oral glucose tablet pharma companies and distributors; Endocrinologists, Diabetologists, Diabetes Nurse Educators, and other health care professionals including Cardiologists, Nephrologists, Neurologists, and Ophthalmologists. Prices would go up significantly for products due to reduced volumes, fewer manufacturers, and rise in manufacturing costs from low volumes with short term versus lifetime usage. 1 American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization for diabetics, professionals, and those interested in this disease. Its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes. ADA’s Government Affairs & Advocacy group works to improve access to quality health care; eliminate discrimination against people because of their diabetes; and to make sure the federal government is adequately funding diabetes research and programs that support these goals. The ADA supported 2007 H.R. 3/S.5 “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” was recently passed by both the House and Senate, but vetoed by President Bush. Copyright 2009: Manas Kanungo

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