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LONDON, UK 14 NOVEMBER, 2008 – New worldwide research indicates that, less than 50% of type 2 diabetes patients* are achieving target long-term blood glucose measures (HbA1c)1, and 40% of patients are experiencing diabetes complications2. These results are being announced in support of World Diabetes Day (WDD), an annual campaign run by the International Diabetes Federation. WDD also heralds the beginning of a national search to find ‘The Face of Diabetes’.

The Diabetes Impact Survey commissioned by Merck & Co., Inc., known in many countries as Merck Sharp & Dohme, was developed with a steering panel of world-renowned medical, scientific and clinical professionals in the field of diabetes. Key findings include:

- According to the healthcare professionals surveyed, less than 50% of their patients are achieving their target HbA1c goal, a measure of long-term blood glucose control1

- A survey of patients indicated that 40% reported complications associated with their disease2

National Search for 'The Face of Diabetes'

People with diabetes are being asked to send photographs or images of themselves, or what diabetes means to them. Which will be used as a building block to form a mosaic of ’The Face of Diabetes’. Boxes will be placed in a selection of GP surgeries throughout the UK around World Diabetes Day (14th November) for pictures to be posted alongside any personal thoughts they have on living with diabetes. Images and comments can also be emailed, text or uploaded to the following link: or posted to Facing Diabetes, Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd, Hertford Road, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, EN11 9BU..

In the last year alone, the UK prevalence of diabetes has significantly increased with over 50,000 newly diagnosed cases. Diabetes now affects over 2,500,000 people in the UK3,4. The long-term consequences of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes are significant, people with type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as those without the condition, and one in 10 patients has been hospitalised because of their diabetes in the last 12 months5.

Marc Evans, Consultant Diabetologist, Llandlough Hospital, comments “Diabetes is set to increase. It is predicted that diabetes prevalence will double world-wide, rising to at least 5% by 2010, accounting for 3.07 million people in the UK6. Having type 2 diabetes doubles your risk of developing cardiovascular disease7. More needs to be done to raise the profile of what it means to have diabetes".

MSD are currently sponsoring a Diabetes Experience Survey on Diabetes UK's website: The survey aims to find out more about the experiences and views people with Type 2 diabetes have about living with the condition. The survey will run from Wednesday 12 November until 3 December 2008 or until 1,500 online surveys have been completed, whichever the earliest.

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About the Diabetes Impact Survey

The Diabetes Impact (Online) Survey, commissioned by Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA, known in many countries as Merck Sharp & Dohme, was developed with a steering panel of world-renowned medical, scientific and clinical professionals in the field of diabetes and includes Professor Anthony Barnett, Diabetologist and Professor of Medicine, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; Lori Berard, Nurse Manager, Health Sciences Center, Winnipeg, Canada; Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Endocrinologist, University of Sydney, Australia; Professor Dr Ilhan Satman, Diabetologist / Endocrinologist, Istanbul University, Turkey; and Professor Chan Siew Pheng, Endocrinologist, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The survey was designed to assess issues and barriers related to the care of patients with type 2 diabetes and to better understand how these barriers might impact the overall burden of diabetes. For these findings, 866 healthcare professionals and 607 patients receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes across six countries (Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India and Mexico) were surveyed.

World Diabetes Day:

• World Diabetes Day takes place on 14th November each year

• World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide by the over 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries

• +700 monuments across the world have signed up to be illuminated on 14th November to mark World Diabetes Day – including the United Nations Building - New York, US; Federation Square – Melbourne, Australia; Houses of Parliament – The Hague, Netherlands.

UK sites include:

- Tithe Barn, Abbotsbury
- Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Cardfiff
- Durham Castle, Durham
- Gateshead Millenium Bridge, Gateshead
- Inverness Castle, Inverness
- Market House, Ledbury
- Leicester Town Hall, Leicester
- Liverpool Playhouse, Liverpool
- London Eye, London
- Tower of London, London
- City Hall of Norwich, Norwich
- Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
- Thomas Rotherham, Rotherham

- For more information on World Diabetes Day please visit

About Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited

Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) is the UK subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA, a leading research-based pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of innovative pharmaceutical products to improve human health.

Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK is the largest organisation in the UK working for people with diabetes, funding research, campaigning and helping people live with the condition. Diabetes UK has over 170,000 members. Diabetes UK work for people with diabetes, their carers, family and friends. Diabetes UK represent the interests of all people with diabetes by lobbying the government for better standards of care and the best quality of life. Diabetes UK's research budget for 2008 is £7.38 million - which is spent on research looking into causes, better care and treatment, and a cure.

Diabetes UK’s mission is to improve the lives of people with diabetes and to work towards a future without diabetes.

For more information, please contact Red Door Communications:

Paul Hutchings
Account Executive
Red Door Communications
0208 392 8056
Liz Adams
Account Director
Red Door Communications
0208 392 8092

Louise Barr
Public Relations Manager
Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited
01992 452126 / 07974 444495


1. Merck data on file. Diabetes Impact Survey. Conducted by TNS: 28th June – 21st July 2008. Slide 37
2. Merck data on file. Diabetes Impact Survey. Conducted by TNS: 28th June – 21st July 2008. Slide 64
3. Diabetes UK web site. What is Diabetes? (accessed February 2007)
4. The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) 2006/07
5. Merck data on file. Diabetes Impact Survey. Conducted by TNS: 28th June – 21st July 2008. Slide 62
6. House of Commons – Work and Pensions – Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence. Memorandum submitted by Diabetes UK (EDP 06). (accessed November 2008)
7. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke. (accessed November 2008)

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Health Unlimited (Red Door Communications) in the following categories: Health, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit