Novo Nordisk Joins Other Key Partners to Enroll Patients in UnitedHealth Group's Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance Programs
MINNETONKA, Minn. (Sept. 29, 2010) UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced that Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) is joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, a national partnership that provides access to community- and evidence-based interventions to help prevent and control diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity.
Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, will work with doctors to create awareness and understanding of programs that follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proven, evidence-based guidelines. The Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps people with pre-diabetes prevent the disease, and the Diabetes Control Program, which helps people with diabetes control the disease and reduce the risk of its devastating complications, support patients' own diabetes awareness, prevention, education and control efforts to improve their health and quality of life.
"We welcome Novo Nordisk into this innovative alliance of public, private and nonprofit organizations committed to fighting an epidemic that is having a devastating affect on our families, communities and our nation's health system," said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization. "Novo Nordisk will play an important role in extending the reach and positive impact of these proven interventions to doctors who treat diabetes and want to help their patients live healthier lives."
"The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is a groundbreaking approach aimed at reducing risks and improving clinical outcomes for the millions of Americans living with, or at risk of, diabetes," said Alan Moses, M.D., vice president and global chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk. "By leveraging the collective skills and resources of Novo Nordisk, UnitedHealth Group, the CDC, doctors, pharmacists and our communities, we believe that collectively we can make a difference in the lives of people with pre-diabetes as well as those already coping with the disease. We will work together to increase awareness of meaningful lifestyle changes and opportunities afforded by greater access to the tools and information needed to avoid the disease or manage it more effectively."
UnitedHealth Group has partnered with the Y to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program, which uses a group-based lifestyle intervention for people at high risk of developing diabetes. It is designed to help people prevent the disease through healthy eating, increased activity and other lifestyle changes. The Diabetes Control Program is being offered in local communities through partnerships with retail pharmacies, beginning with Walgreens. It helps people with diabetes better control their condition by providing them access to local pharmacists specially trained to help manage their condition and improve adherence to their physicians' treatment plans.
Both Alliance programs have been tested through controlled trials or pilot projects with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Y, Indiana University, clinical centers, employers and retail pharmacies. This experience demonstrated, among other findings, that with lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction, a person with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by 58 percent.
In 2007, nearly 24 million people in the United States had diabetes, 24 percent of them undiagnosed, according to the CDC. Another 57 million people, or 26 percent of the adult population, are considered to have pre-diabetes, with about 85 percent of them unaware of their condition.
A 2009 study by the University of Chicago funded by Novo Nordisk projected the diabetes population to reach 44.1 million in 2034 with medical spending on the disease increasing nearly three-fold from $113 billion to $336 billion. The vast majority of people with pre-diabetes are struggling with obesity, which is a cause of many preventable health issues including diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance programs launched initially in eight markets in six states: Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, N.M.; Phoenix, and in Minneapolis-St. Paul for participants in self-insured employer-provided health plans purchased from Medica. The programs will roll out nationally through 2012.
In addition, UnitedHealth Group covers these services at no charge to plan participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans that have purchased services through the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. The Alliance represents the first time in the United States that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and control programs.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of health benefit programs through UnitedHealthcare, Ovations and AmeriChoice, and health services through Ingenix, OptumHealth and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide.