Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim launch first GCC activity since announcement of their global strategic alliance in 2011
- United Arab Emirates: Saturday, February 23 - 2013 at 16:20
- PRESS RELEASE
More than 200 endocrinologists and healthcare professionals specialized in diabetes care gathered on Friday 22 February 2013. The scientific meeting, hosted by two specialists in diabetes treatment and research, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly included a presentation by both companies summarizing the impacts on and benefits for diabetes patients in the region resulting from their 20-year strategic alliance cemented in early 2011.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is growing not just because the world's population is expanding and getting older, but also because obesity is on the rise across the globe. More people are being affected and at a younger age. According to the latest figures from the International Diabetes Federation released on December 2012 (IDF Atlas- 5th Edition- 2012 update), four Gulf nations - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain - rank among the top ten counties globally for prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 20-79 years, with the UAE ranked 11th. An estimated one in five adults in the Gulf has diabetes, and across the Middle East it is estimated that half of those people with diabetes do not know that they have the disease (IDF Atlas- 5th Edition- 2012 update).
Karim El Alaoui, Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim for the MENA region, illustrated the rationale of this alliance in his meeting address to the present audience. "We can unite our efforts and together do much more for patients that each one of us can do alone," he explained. "BI and Lilly are able to combine their different but complementary skillsets and knowledge to produce outcomes which are of real benefit to patients and to those who care for them.
"We are launching the first treatment emerging from this alliance which answers the needs of type 2 diabetic patients, including patients with high risk of declining renal or hepatic function. Looking ahead, we are joining efforts to share knowledge, expertise and research data to develop new and innovative treatments for the 371 million people globally who suffer from diabetes - including 34 million in the Middle East and North Africa region. We have one of the most robust combined late-stage development pipelines in diabetes and are committed to make a difference in the lives of diabetic patients," El Alaoui added.
"There is a huge and pressing need for improved diabetes care and more treatment options worldwide and here in the Gulf," said Huzur Devletsah, Lilly general manager for the Near East and Gulf Region, addressing the doctors at the opening of the event. "We know, through our constant contact and collaboration with the UAE healthcare community, that diabetes can be very frustrating for patients and complex to control. There are several complications that can arise from uncontrolled diabetes that are very, very serious. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, renal failure, and lower limb amputation. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart attacks and strokes".
In this context, there is a pressing need to offer treatment options that are unique and address specific needs. It is this which prompted the alliance between our company, Eli Lilly, which was the first in the world to introduce commercial insulin as a treatment for diabetic patients, and Boehringer Ingelheim, which has an important track record of research driven innovation. The Boehringer Ingelheim - Lilly alliance is truly exciting. We have the ability to bring new medicines, to help healthcare providers and payers, and ultimately to improve patient care," added Devletsah.
Healthcare professionals attending yesterday's medical meeting in Dubai represented hospitals, universities, clinics and medical centres from across the Emirate. Several regional meetings are due to take place across the Middle East to leverage the announcement of the Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim alliance, with activities planned later this month in Beirut and Abu Dhabi.
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