Diabetes is one of the most common debilitating diseases in the U.S. today, and according to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), an estimated 25.8 million Americans suffer from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. However common, the disease is one of the least discussed conditions to affect so many people. In fact, the NDEP reports that an estimated 7 million people with the disease are not aware that they have it. Nearly 2 million people are diagnosed with the disease annually.
The two most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and 2. Type 1 was previously identified as early-onset or juvenile diabetes. Type 2 is by far the most common, and accounts for approximately 90 to 95 percent of all diagnoses. There is no cure for either type of diabetes, though studies have proven that regular exercise and weight loss can help prevent or delay the onset of the disease for many people. Despite these easy ways to help mitigate the effects of diabetes, the disease still costs the nation an estimated $116 billion in direct medical costs (such as hospitalizations, medical care, and treatments) every year.
A flood of recent lawsuits have been filed regarding injuries sustained from Actos, a popular drug prescribed to millions of Americans with Type 2 diabetes that is meant to control blood sugar. The drug, reported by DrugWatch, is linked “to serious, life-threatening side effects, including heart failure and bladder cancer.” Lawsuits brought against the manufacturers of the drug allege that they failed to warn both patients and healthcare providers of the dangerous side effects, failed to properly test the drug before marketing it to the public, and “concealed testing and research data from the public,” according to DrugWatch.com.