Merck Foundation to Improve Access to Diabetes Care

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Diabetes is a massive epidemic. According to the U.N., in 2012 diabetes killed 1.5 million people globally, mostly those who do not have proper access to treatment to manage the condition. To help those patients in more vulnerable positions, Merck, the leading pharmaceutical company in diabetes treatment, has launched a new program to improve the lives of those people.

Called Bridging the Gap, the program will receive in total $16 million from the Foundation over a five-year span. One of its goals is to foster a holistic approach to managing the disease, including services from outside the health care system to address the external issues related to diabetes, such as lifestyle and diet.

The funds will be distributed to several organizations, while the University of Chicago will serve as the National Program Office. The University will also provide support to grantees and lead a national public-private partnership to reduce current disparities in diabetes care.

The recipients of the grant will implement evidence-based programs to build partnerships, redesign health care systems and improve health outcomes for individuals with type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar and lipid control.

“We need to look beyond the usual health care solutions to address the growing burden of diabetes, especially among the vulnerable populations of the United States,” says Julie L. Gerberding, CEO of the Merck Foundation.

She adds the Foundation is looking forward to levering the expertise of the eight partner organizations that will be using the grant to improve diabetes care where it is most needed.

Image credit: Merck Foundation