Has the battle to cure diabetes landed Type I patients and Type II on opposite sides? That’s the question behind a recent New York Times article Beyond 'I'm a Diabetic', Little Common Ground . These diabetic wars are centered on the need for research dollars. Public funding is disproportionate amongst Type I and Type II Diabetes. Type I, occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. It occurs in mainly children and young people. Type II is the most common form of Diabetes. In these patients the body does not respond to insulin correctly. For every one case of Type I Diabetes, there are 20 cases of Type II, yet the overall funding (both public and private) for both diseases are nearly equal.
Race, economics, and structured fund-raising campaigns, are just some of the reasons why Type I Diabetes research has exceeded funding for Type II and many other chronic disease.
Our patient experts Mary Kate Cary and David Mendosa have read the New York Times story; now they’re weighing in. Read their responses and share your comments with us about this hot topic.
Who Is To Blame?
The imbalance of federal government research funding between those of us with Type I and Type II diabetes is largely a reflection of the imbalance of competence of the organizations representing us. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International does an unquestionably great job of representing Type I’s. The American Diabetes Association, which most people see as representing Type II’s, collects far more money than the JDRF but is hardly as powerful a lobby. It is hard to blame the government for the scant funds provided for Type II research in light of the ADA's weakness. Nevertheless, the federal government has failed miserably to address the most promising potential cure of both types of diabetes, stem cell research. Fortunately, the state of California has picked up some of the slack. Thank goodness that we have a federal rather than a unitary government!
A World of Difference Between Type I and Type II