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Press release: Action: Truth About Diabetes

Diabetes is spreading like an epidemic!

Germany is threatened with a flood of diabetes

Every tenth person in Germany already suffers from diabetes. Six million diabetics are receiving medical treatment. Countless citizens have the insidious disease without even knowing it.
Due to the demographic development, a rapidly increasing number of new cases must be expected in the coming years. The average age is falling. It is now 53 years. If diabetes is not treated early, there is a risk of secondary diseases that slowly but surely lead to death.

Population clueless

Nobody notices for themselves when the incurable metabolic disease strikes them. Because diabetes begins seemingly harmless, without pain and symptoms. Even normal blood or urine tests often fail to detect diabetes. The disease can ravage the body unnoticed. Too much sugar in the blood damages cells and blood vessels. This can destroy every organ and muscle. The consequences: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. Doctors identify diabetes as the cause of more than half of these clinical pictures.

The Federal Ministry of Health fails to recognize the danger

The current health care reform is primarily aimed at reducing overall diabetes spending. The statutory health insurance companies implement the ordinances in Disease Management Programs (DMP). The plans presented clearly show that one wants to spend decidedly less money on diabetes treatment. As a consequence, the Federal Ministry of Health condemns the diabetics insured with the statutory health insurance to long infirmity up to death.

"Diabetics and diabetologists are appalled. Doctors and self-help groups expect a dramatic deterioration in diabetic care as a result of the care program planned by the AOK. The alleged improvement in reality threatens to lead to a drastic deterioration in quality."
Working group diabetology Baden-Württemberg.

Prevention is not an issue for health insurance companies

The health insurance companies have redefined diabetes and therapies in their current disease management programs. The internationally recognized knowledge of diabetes research is not taken into account. Instead, health insurance patients in Germany should only be treated if their blood sugar levels have exceeded extreme tolerances or if complications and symptoms of the consequential damage already occur. The chance to prevent the consequences is wasted.

Economical medicine leads to an explosion in costs

Where there is a lack of prevention, emergencies are inevitable. The specialists fear that the DMP of the health insurance companies will trigger an unprecedented flood of diabetes-related diseases. If the warning voices are not listened to now, a real horror scenario will result. Almost every statutory health insurance patient who already has diabetes today will have to be treated for serious illnesses in ten years. Our economy would no longer be able to cope with the sum of the resulting costs.

"With a program in the present form, the consequential damage: blindness, stroke, heart attack, amputation and dialysis will increase again drastically. That means not only countless human suffering, but also another massive avalanche of costs. From the point of view of those affected and the doctors, such programs must lead to an improvement in the care of diabetics and must not serve as an alibi for refusal to perform and rationing under the guise of misinterpreted evidence-based medicine. "
Prof. Dr. med. Jan Schulze, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Head of Endocrinopathies and Clinical Metabolic Diseases.

Health insurance companies falsify technical terms - example EBM

The term "Disease Management Program" is easy to bend. It depends on what is in such a treatment plan and who is carrying it out. But the term "evidence-based medicine" (EBM) is actually being reversed by the health insurance companies. They understand evidence-based medicine to mean medicine that was considered to be tried and tested ten or fifteen years ago. All progress made in the meantime is simply ignored. Statutory health insurance patients should not be entitled to new treatment methods and modern drugs. And this despite the fact that diabetes research has made decisive progress over the past decade. However, actual evidence-based medicine tries to use every new knowledge.

"Evidence-based medicine ...
The idea behind this is to conscientiously, expressly and sensibly use the current state of research in the medical care of each individual patient. ...
The practice of EBM means the integration of individual clinical expertise with the best possible external evidence from systematic research. ...
EBM is not simply a means of reducing costs. Physicians who practice EBM will identify and use the most effective procedures to maximize patient quality and length of life ... "
"Background: What is EBM?" German Cochrane Center, Clinic of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (www.cochrane.de).

HbA1c - The Critical Value Everyone Should Know

To check the treatment, the HbA1c level in the blood must be measured. It provides information about the mean blood sugar level over the course of the previous six to eight weeks and thus about the quality of the blood sugar control. Healthy people have an HbA1c value of 4 to 6 percent.

Early detection against consequential damage

There is a great opportunity in the early detection of diabetes. Modern therapies and medication help to massively contain and avoid consequential damage in diabetes sufferers. The prerequisite is that the diabetes is recognized before the first symptoms of the secondary diseases occur. Diabetics have to keep their blood sugar levels within the normal range with medication and physical activity. Scientific studies show: the more precisely the blood sugar is regulated, the lower the risk of secondary diseases. Quality of life and life expectancy for diabetics are increasing.

Health insurance companies do not accept early detection

Diabetics have to measure their blood sugar several times a day and control it with medication. The health insurers do not want to reimburse measuring sticks and medication for patients in the early stages of diabetes. The disease management programs of the statutory health insurance companies only see a need for treatment very late. In the opinion of the medical specialists, this is grossly negligent. Long-term studies show irrefutably: High HbA1c values ​​lead to extremely serious irreversible damage.

Specialists have the better program

The current health reform and the disease management programs of the health insurance companies derived from it are unworldly and impractical. The specialists have long since presented a different and realistic program to prevent the impending diabetes catastrophe: the National Care Guideline for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. The organizations listed below have developed them together:

  • Medical Central Office for Quality Assurance (AZQ)
  • German Diabetes Society (DDG)
  • Specialized Commission Diabetes Saxony
  • German Society for Internal Medicine
  • Medicines Commission of the German Medical Association
  • Working Group of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF)

Demand to politics:

National care guideline as the basis for all future DMPs for diabetes!

This is also the aim of "Aktion: Truth About Diabetes". Time is running out. If the statutory ordinances of the current health reform are pushed forward by the health insurance companies, the economy will suffer serious damage in the medium term. Diabetes is expensive, but the consequences are priceless if you don't take precautionary measures against it.

The initiators of the "Action: Truth About Diabetes"

The "Action: Truth About Diabetes" was started by the Professional Association of German Diabetologists, the German Diabetic Association and the Association of Diabetes Advisory and Training Professions in Germany. Other medical associations and interest groups can join the initiative. The information project is financed by donations.

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last modified: 08/21/2002