World diabetes leaders left the Global Changing Diabetes Leadership Forum, which took place in New York City on 13?14 March 2007, with a sense of activism to return home to start changing diabetes.
The Forum, hosted by Novo Nordisk, gathered policymakers, government officials, international organisations, patient organisations, healthcare professionals, people with diabetes and media from 20 countries.
The participants discussed ways to redefine healthcare around the needs of people with diabetes. Prominent speakers addressed the Forum, including former US President Bill Clinton.
Participants agreed that there is no single answer to the diabetes pandemic and that combating diabetes requires multiple actions at all stages ? from prevention to the treatment of serious complications ? and a full cycle approach.
Lars Rebien S?rensen, president and CEO of Novo Nordisk, expressed his conviction that ?only by placing the person at the heart of diabetes care and rethinking the healthcare systems around transparency and measurability, can this silent killer be defeated?.
Convinced that measurability is essential to increase awareness on the need for improvement and essential to guide the actions to change diabetes, Lars Rebien S?rensen announced the launch of a Changing Diabetes Barometer.
The barometer is a concrete follow-up initiative developed through partnerships, which will constitute a strong guidance for policy-makers and decision-makers to measure progress for changing diabetes and help set priorities for national diabetes action plans. The first barometer is due to be published on 1 November 2007 and will identify global indicators.
Lars Rebien S?rensen also challenged the pharmaceutical industry to join forces and report on their performance in delivering value for patients, so that people with diabetes will be able to make informed decisions about what constitutes real value for money. ?It would help industry compete on value creation,? he said.
Martin Silink, president of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), emphasised that ?the reality is that there will not be an automatic increase in funds for diabetes for either prevention or treatment in the short term? and stressed that ?the diabetes world will need to be part of the solution and not simply be regarded as the problem. In developing countries, which bear 70% of the global burden of diabetes, the solutions will involve increasing access to proven but low-cost therapies?.
Liberal Senator for Tasmania and executive member of the Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group Guy Barnett stressed the urgency for governments to ?understand the link between the diabetes pandemic and the obesity epidemic, and to react accordingly and promptly?. He also called upon the diabetes community to engage stakeholder groups such as the food and fast-food industry, health, education, media and advertising sectors, in raising awareness.