Monday, June 19, 2006

Diabetes care in a single pill?

…The American Diabetes Association says 7.2 million people might dodge premature death and disability it they took a “polypill,” a combination of low-dose aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, blood pressure pill, and medicine to lower blood sugar.

…Tab? $100 a year.

…This would be a money-saver, not to mention a lifesaver. Using computer modeling, the eggheads said a “cure” for diabetes would reduce serious complications by 1.4 million a year—saving $700 billion.

…If everyone got the best diabetes treatment available, 18 million people would escape premature death—saving $325 billion a year.

…If at least 80% of people with diabetes got the best care, complications would be reduced by 60%--saving $150 billion a year.

…Billions—with a “b.”

…Is there such a “polypill”? Not yet.

…At their meeting, the diabetes specialists likened the disease to a biological weapon that could kill 40 million people.

…It’s already here, they said.

…It must be. HA’s niece has a red “hazardous” sharps container in her office bathroom—for people’s insulin needles.

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