Socio-economics in Novo Nordisk is about demonstrating how investments in diabetes can impact macroeconomic development and growth as well as bringing down the human suffering caused by the diabetes pandemic. With healthcare spending rising faster than GDP in most countries, governments are looking for ways to reduce direct healthcare costs.
There is growing scientific evidence demonstrating that:
- the cost of not treating diabetes is much greater than the cost of proper treatment
- that early ‘to target’ treatment on all risk factors pays as opposed to standard treatment
- that screening for diabetes and pre-diabetes to prevent diabetes or to start treatment as early as possible pays
The message from the evidence is clear – health care expenditure in the long run can not be brought down by cost containment on treatment and diagnostic measures. On the contrary, it can only be brought down by investing in prevention, earlier detection and earlier and more intensified treatment.
For several years Novo Nordisk has worked to develop a broad understanding of the socio-economic impact of diabetes, both to enhance knowledge of how to change diabetes and to provide information and insight to other stakeholders that have an impact on diabetes.
Socio-economic analyses have several dimensions:
- Conducting and supporting scientific studies/screening of diabetes in the developed and developing world
- Supporting affiliates in building economic and health economic knowledge
- Engaging with data owners to ensure improved registration of diabetes data nationally, regionally and with local clinics in the Changing Diabetes Barometer
- Creating tools that can make the communication of diabetes and economics easier through the production of Changing Diabetes Briefing Books
There is a gap between the treatment that patients currently get and the treatment that could be offered by the healthcare system with the current scientific evidence and knowledge of good practice. The Novo Nordisk socio-economic programme has developed a framework in which to analyse this gap.
This includes looking at the current costs and consequences for people with diabetes as well as the benefits to be gained by closing the gap. The approach devises a number of scenarios where interventions such as prevention, early detection and adequate treatment are applied. The scenarios are then analysed in terms of long term outcomes and costs.