A group of cross party MPs attended a special tour of a diabetes research lab at King’s College London.The MPs, Ben Howlett, David Mackintosh, Kate Osamor, Liz McInnes, and Kevin Foster, saw ground-breaking research into treatments to help prevent and improve the management of the condition, which are being funded by Diabetes UK and include research into a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes.
There are currently 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK and five million people are projected to have the condition by 2025. Diabetes can have a huge impact on people’s lives and can lead to serious complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke which can result in early death. These are not only personally devastating but are also extremely costly to the health service. Diabetes cost the NHS £10 billion annually, which amounts to 10 percent of the entire NHS budget.
But despite the increasing numbers of people living with diabetes and the huge burden it places on the NHS, for every £1 the NHS spends managing diabetes, the UK invests just over half a penny on diabetes research, which is less investment than many other major health conditions.This is why Diabetes UK is calling on the MPs to be champions for diabetes research funding both locally and in Parliament to help ensure world class diabetes research is carried out in institutions across the UK.
Dr Alasdair Rankin, Diabetes UK Director of Research, said: “It’s great to have the support of so many MPs on what is a very serious issue. The world class research that we are funding at King’s College London, as well other institutions throughout the UK, has the potential to make a huge difference to lives of everyone affected by diabetes.“The impact of the condition on people’s lives and on the NHS is colossal but this is not reflected by the amount of funding diabetes research receives. This is why we want to see more support from the Government to encourage diabetes research investment so that we are fully meeting the huge challenges that diabetes presents. “Diabetes is an extremely important health issue that is affecting more and more people so it is essential that we are funding research that can lead to improvements in treatment and prevention, and ultimately bring us closer to a cure.” Diabetes UK is the UK’s leading charitable funder of diabetes research. The charity funds research into Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.