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Diabetes Mellitus and the St Vincent Declaration

The Economic Implications

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Summary

Diabetes mellitus imposes significant costs both on individuals and on healthcare delivery systems. Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus have lifetime costs, and so resources spent on interventions now may not bring benefits, in terms of reduced complications, for many years.

In Europe, the St Vincent Declaration, which includes targets for the reduction of diabetes mellitus-related complications, is an important initiative set up to address quality and education issues relevant to people with diabetes mellitus. The Declaration is to be welcomed as focusing attention on diabetes mellitus, and its implementation may lead to a reduction in healthcare expenditure on complications in future years.

The aims of the St Vincent Declaration are to set goals and 5-year targets to improve quality of life and life expectancy for people with diabetes mellitus and to reduce the serious complications associated with the disease. Achievement of these targets will depend on good organisation and management of services to people with diabetes mellitus, but the aims are a clear signal that the importans of prevention and education have been recognised.

A major barrier to the implementation of the Declaration is financial. If more people are diagnosed and treated, more services will be required. This will incur costs, although future benefits will be gained in terms of a reduction in complications.

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Leese, B. Diabetes Mellitus and the St Vincent Declaration. Pharmacoeconomics 7, 292–307 (1995). https://doi.org/10.2165/00019053-199507040-00004

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