Media Release

Basel, 15 April 2009

Roche Diabetes Care supports “Changing Diabetes in Children”

Collaboration with Novo Nordisk and World Diabetes Foundation to help children with type-1-diabetes in Africa

Roche today announced that it will join forces with Novo Nordisk and the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) in Novo Nordisk’s five-year program called “Changing Diabetes in Children”. Roche Diabetes Care will actively endorse humanitarian activities in this project which is starting in Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Guinea-Conakry and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Roche will contribute to this program by supporting efforts to develop a structured diabetes care model, assisting with solutions for healthcare professionals for optimal diabetes care as well as providing specific patient education and training programs for comprehensive diabetes self-management. This will also include donation of blood glucose monitoring supplies. In order to better deliver tailored diabetes education and care in these developing countries, Roche will involve its own resources to make this project a pilot to several delivery care models in developing and emerging countries to achieve improved medical and economic outcomes and to avoid costly diabetes complications.

“We are committed to improving the situation of people with diabetes and their caregivers. And we are especially dedicated to projects in the developing countries where structured and high-quality diabetes care is not yet established. Together with our partners, WDF and Novo Nordisk, we want to change the diabetes care landscape to prepare healthcare systems for the future,” states Burkhard G. Piper, Head of Roche Diabetes Care.

Together with Novo Nordisk and the WDF, Roche’s intention is to work on a sustainable approach by partnering with the governments to provide care for these children with type-1-diabetes until they reach the age of 18 and by building the infrastructure to eventually support all people with diabetes.

“Novo Nordisk welcomes Roche’s collaboration on this program. We believe that only through a united effort can we effectively facilitate change. Our program will provide access to diabetes care for children with diabetes and it will enable healthcare infrastructure development in the world’s least developed countries”, says Lene Andersen, vice president, Global Diabetes Partnerships, Novo Nordisk A/S.

By working with and involving local and national government health officials, this program is designed to build long-term solutions for sustainable diabetes care for all people with diabetes in the selected countries. Roche Diabetes Care aims to use its extensive experience from the last 35 years in diabetes management and education to help change the lives of children in this program. Roche will work closely with both Novo Nordisk and WDF through local clinics and summer camps to educate and train healthcare professionals, patients and their families on comprehensive and effective diabetes management.

Diabetes: no longer a rare chronic disease in Africa

Meta-analytic estimates and recent investigations based on the IDF statistic approach to monitoring the prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance indicate a mean estimated prevalence of 3.6% in 2007, ranging from approximately 2.3% in some countries such as Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia among others, to as high as 12.6% in Mauritius and Seychelles and 13.5% in Réunion. The overall regional prevalence is projected to reach 4.5% in 2025. The total number of persons affected globally is projected to rise from 246 million in 2007 to 380 million in 2025 if prevention measures are not scaled up .1

In Africa, the number of people with diabetes in 2006 was 10.4 million, expected to increase to 18.7 million in 2025. IDF estimates that 38,000 children in Africa have type 1 diabetes .2The majority of cases of diabetes in Africa go undetected; the undiagnosed cases are estimated to be as high as 60% to 80% in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania of those with the condition. Undiagnosed diabetes evolves silently into complications such as renal failure, retinopathy, cardiovascular disease and lower limb amputation. Between 1.4% and 6.7% of diabetic foot cases result in amputation. Annual mortality linked to diabetes worldwide is estimated at more than one million. In some countries in Africa, the mortality rate is very high, more than 40 per 10 000 inhabitants .3It is estimated that a child in sub-Saharan Africa that is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has the life expectancy of as short as one year .4

Diabetes facts

  • The International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than 246 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to increase up to 380 million by 2025.
  • In 2007, an estimated 3.8 million people died from diabetes and diabetes-related causes.1
  • WHO projects that diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years without urgent action. Most notably, diabetes deaths are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries between 2006 and 2015 .5

Further information on the project

Within this project Novo Nordisk will provide diabetes care to 10,000 children in some of the world’s poorest countries. For further information, please visit Novo Nordisk’s website.

The World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) is dedicated to supporting prevention and treatment of diabetes in the developing world through funding of sustainable projects in education, capacity building, prevention and awareness of diabetes. The Foundation strives to educate and advocate globally in an effort to create awareness, care and relief to those impacted by diabetes.The World Diabetes Foundation provides further information at: www.worlddiabetesorganisation.org

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is a pioneer in the development of blood glucose monitoring systems and a global leader for diabetes management systems and services. For 35 years, the Accu-Chek brand has been dedicated to enable people with diabetes to live life as normal and active as possible as well as to empower healthcare professionals manage their patients’ condition in an optimal way. Today, the Accu-Chek portfolio offers people with diabetes and healthcare professionals innovative products and impactful solutions for convenient, efficient and effective diabetes management spanning from blood glucose monitoring through information management to insulin delivery. The Accu-Chek brand encompasses blood glucose meters, insulin delivery systems, lancing devices, data management systems and education programs – leading to an improved medical outcome. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2008 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totaled 36.0 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.7 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interest in Chugai, and invested nearly 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2008. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.

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1) Source: IDF-Atlas 3rd edition, 2006
2) Source: IDF-Atlas 3rd edition, 2006
3) www.afro.who.int/press/periodicals/healthmonitor/jan-jun2008.pdf
4) Source: IDF-Atlas 3rd edition, 2006
5) www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/