How to tackle diabetes?

05/05/2017 News Europe , News UEMO 2648 Views

On 26 April, The Copenhagen EU Office and Steno Diabetes Centre in Copenhagen organised a meeting which focused on how to tackle diabetes as one of the most urgent health care challenges. MEP Christel Schaldemose (DK), member of the European Parliament’s Working Group Against Diabetes, stressed that the current situation with chronic diseases needs to be tackled urgently as number of people currently suffering from diabetes will be doubled by 2025 which will imply a major burden on society with high public spending and the population being dependent on healthcare.

The outcome is:

Prof Allan Flyvbjerg presented SDC (Steno Diabetes Centre Copenhagen) and the current situation in Denmark where diabetes increases by 3-5{cabf78295431282ca1bec49ffbe2c87b89a1285ae102b2d0687184fc21af24ba}/year. SDC, established in 1932,  performs clinical research in collaboration with healthcare, primary care and university and provides training activities for both healthcare professionals and citizens about diabetes risk groups and risks associated with the disease. In 2015/2016 SDC has been revised and  the main objective is to raise the quality of the research and treatment for diabetes and it aims to become a unique opportunity to be a globally leading diabetes-centre by incorporating SDC into the public health care system in the Capital Region of Denmark. It aim is to offer world class treatment, research, education and prevention for the benefit of the population with or at risk of diabetes by:

  • Clinical treatment:

– Standard treatment – out-patient screening and treatment; further development of standard treatment; follow guidelines; involvement of patients in their own disease

– Supplementary treatment – develop evidence for new and better treatment modalities; new and dedicated collaborations between various sectors in the region; new treatment modalities as a supplement to outpatient treatment

  • Clinical research – close collaboration between hospitals, universities, life science industry and other relevant stake holders:

-Individuals with or at risk of developing diabetes are at focus in the clinical research

-New data will be implemented immediately in the treatment and rehabilitation across sectors

-Make use of state-of-the art infrastructure

  • Health promotion and prevention:

-Development and distribution of welfare technology, apps

-Supporting implementation of new knowledge in the clinic

-Focus on creating new knowledge within primary, secondary and tertiary prevention

  • EDUCATION – SDCC aim at being a global leader within education in diabetes:

-Pre-graduate education of health care professionals

-Post-graduate education of health care professionals (hospitals, GPs, municipalities)

-Individuals with or at risk of diabetes


The SDC is willing to cooperate with other European countries so any interested parties are requested to email Prof Flyvbjerg at:

  1. The EC stated that it is important for a multisectoral approach to tackle diabetes combining population-oriented interventions, fiscal policies, legislation.  Member states have various approach such as sugar tax (UK, Portugal, Spain and Estonia), general information at the school about diabetes and Scottish initiative ‘The daily mile’ where pupils at school should run a mile a day to promote the well-being of children and to fight diabetes. The EC advised that will continue supporting cooperation between member states and encouraging the strategic use of financial instruments available through EU finding schemes.

    Three prime considerations have been listed: 1. Type 2 diabetes is preventable, 2. Diabetes requires self-care and is amenable to self-care -more than 99{cabf78295431282ca1bec49ffbe2c87b89a1285ae102b2d0687184fc21af24ba} of the time, a patient relies on self-care, 3. Current healthcare models are unsuitable – with a significant proportion of costs avoidable.
    These might be achieved by: emphasis on health promotion, prevention (healthy lifestyle, physical activity), early diagnosis and intervention; support patients to self-manage their diabetes (and their lifestyle); new models for diabetes care (more co-ordinated/integrated care) – i.e. enable GPs in primary care to have the knowledge and capacity to deal with the large majority of issues: example of diabetes management in rural areas in Grampian in Scotland; shifted care from hospital to community/primary setting; specialists used their freed-up time to provide training to nurses and GPs on diabetes care, to further enable this shift.

    The EC presented some figures from the WHO Global Report on Diabetes 2016:
  • 422 million adults had diabetes in 2014, worldwide
  • 1.5 million deaths in 2012 worldwide directly attributed to diabetes
  • In Europe: 64 million in 2014 (up from 33 million in 1980) – number of patients nearly doubled
  • 12{cabf78295431282ca1bec49ffbe2c87b89a1285ae102b2d0687184fc21af24ba} of global health expenditure spent on diabetes
  • Cost of diabetes is estimated at $673 billion globally

Regarding diabetes and research, the EC will continue supporting research and there is also a need for more patient-centered approach in both healthcare and research.
The draft Horizon2020 work programme 2018-20 is expected late June/early July and the final version is planned to be published in September.
The following areas are planned to be included: comorbidities; systems approaches; microbiome; new therapies (advanced therapies, regenerative medicine); maternal & child health; cohorts; E-health; boosting the translation of health research results; innovative procurements for health care; HTA (Health Technology Assessment) research.

The following policy activities are planned for 2017:

  • Midterm review of the Digital Single Market (Communication)
  • Personalised Medicine (Staff working document)
  • Food 2030 ( Communication)
  • HTA in Europe
  • European Open Science Cloud

Upcoming events in 2017:

  • Scientific Panel for Health (Brussels, 9 June)
  • ‘Health Research in a Connected and Participative Society’
  • European Open Science Cloud Summit (Brussels, 12 June)
  • Workshop on personalised medicine for end users (October 2017)

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