Diabetes represents a significant burden on society. In 2016, 415 million people worldwide suffered with this disease, leading to approximately 5 million deaths and $673 billion to $1.197 trillion in global healthcare spending. The problem is growing rapidly – by 2040, diabetes will affect an estimated 640 million people.
The chronic nature of the disease, its growing incidence, and an increasingly elderly population will converge to pose significant social and economic challenges to nations around the world, including direct costs such as inpatient hospital care and medication and indirect costs such as the loss of productivity and GDP.
Merck has made significant investments in the research and development of medications targeting diabetes and intends to pursue a strategy that will maximize benefits to global human health over the next 15 years. However, determining where and how to deploy these resources is a critical component of combating the diabetes epidemic.
Your challenge is to identify the countries that are most at risk of being impacted by diabetes through 2030. Your analysis should address one or more of the following questions:
- What metrics best quantify the impact of the disease? Make sure you justify your choices with evidence.
- How can Merck position itself to best combat diabetes in these countries? How does the strategy change across countries (i.e., consider local differences)?
- What is the potential impact of your strategy? To what degree can your approach mitigate the effects of the disease, based on the metrics you chose?
Some additional guidelines:
- You may assume an ideal scenario: i.e., Merck has unlimited global reach and no government restrictions or pricing pressures.
- Make sure you explain the data and methods used to support your claims.
- You are encouraged to integrate data beyond the recommended sources below into your analysis. Be creative!
- The IDF Diabetes Atlas contains regional prevalence information
- The World Bank Databank contains regional health, demographics and economy related data
- The 2016 WHO Diabetes Report contains a wealth of background information about the disease
- U.S. Chronic Disease Indicators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a breakdown of prevalence by demographics
The Temple University Library has created a guide for this challenge to help you find even more data.