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MEPs demand urgent EU action on diabetes

March 14, 2012 5:12 PM

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has strongly welcomed today's European Parliament resolution on diabetes that she played a large part in securing.

This calls on the European Commission and member states to adopt an EU strategy to combat the steep rise in diabetes through prevention (of Type 2), to improve treatment and boost research. 32 million people across Europe have the disease - predicted to be 50 million in 2025 - with 325,000 deaths a year attributed to it.

Sarah Ludford is one of the 4 MEP co-chairs of the cross-party European Union Diabetes Working Group (EUDWG) which is backed by the European Coalition for Diabetes grouping patient interest groups. She has been active on the issue of diabetes for many years, and said:

"It's a fantastic achievement to have got this call for an EU strategy passed after years of effort. We have done it only by working in a truly collaborative spirit, motivated by a determination to see vastly improved prevention and care as well as research for a cure. Now we need to see action so that the huge challenge of diabetes for citizens and healthcare systems is properly met."

"Diabetes does not evoke the same sense of urgency as cancer, heart disease or HIV/AIDS; it's somehow seen as a manageable disease. But in fact it causes major challenges for individuals - especially those who are insulin-dependent - devastating complications and death, and often discrimination at school and work."

"The fact that diabetes consumes 10% healthcare costs ought to be a wake-up call. Late diagnosis, poor treatment and complications as well as failures in prevention contribute to this. With Type 1 diabetes occurring even in babies, a 'horizontal' approach concentrating only on obesity and lack of exercise is insufficient for the specific features of the diabetes epidemic."

Note to editors:

The resolution can be seen here: