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More than 450 experts attended the Diabento symposium, organized by Esteve in Madrid (Photo: Esteve).

Half of patients with type 2 diabetes do not have their disease under control

Therapeutic compliance in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is crucial. However, only 30%-50% of patients receiving oral antidiabetics, and not even 25% of those receiving insulin adhere to their treatment regimen1. The worst compliers are younger patients who, moreover, are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular complications. This was the claim of the specialists who attended Diabento, a symposium organized by Esteve, of more than 450 physicians from all around Spain who analyzed current and future challenges in DM2 from a multidisciplinary perspective. Esteve and PCB have been working closely since 2003.


An integrated approach, personalized treatment, improved adherence, and patient education are the major goals of diabetes treatment, according to more than 450 experts in the field who attended the Madrid meeting .

Lack of compliance is one of the major causes of poor metabolic control and is associated with greater cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in DM2. “Younger patients are the ones with the poorest disease control. We must focus on the care of diabetics between 40 and 50 years of age, because these patients will have DM2 for many more years and will be exposed to a greater risk and earlier onset of chronic complications derived from diabetes, particularly cardiovascular issues” said Dr. Edelmiro Menéndez, chairperson of the Spanish Diabetes Society and scientific coordinator of Diabento. 

Patient education in disease control is essential. DM2 treatment is lifelong, and as well as adhering to their pharmacological treatment, patients must be prepared to make lifestyle changes. An integrated approach must be taken, taking into account all cardiovascular risk factors, and treatment must be personalized according the characteristics and clinical history of each patient. “DM2 patients in general have more than one disease, so concomitant conditions must also be considered, and the drugs we use can have very different mechanisms of action that are sometimes complementary. Guidelines are useful, but only to a certain extent, because the recommendations are general, but treatment must be as individualized as possible.” 

In Spain, the Ministry of Health initiated a National Diabetes Plan, one of the objectives of which was to improve treatment compliance in DM2, but according to Dr. Menéndez, “due to the transfer of responsibilities to the autonomous communities, the implementation of these guidelines cannot be followed up”. 

Diabetes affects almost 5 million Spaniards, of whom 1.5 million are undiagnosed, according to data from the Di@betes study2. The latest epidemiological studies show that prevalence is growing: currently there are almost 400 million diabetics worldwide, a figure which is forecast to increase to almost 600 million by 2035, representing a growth of almost 50% in 20 years. 

“In a period of 10-15 years, we have seen DM2 appearing at ever earlier ages, particularly in patients aged around 30, something which never happened before”, said Dr. Menéndez. This enormous increase in the prevalence of DM2, particularly among younger individuals, is directly related with increasing levels of obesity and excess weight. “There is a pathogenic relationship between obesity and the development of insulin resistance that leads to the appearance of type 2 diabetes. This is what we have to prevent”. More information about Diabento on Esteve website [+]

Strategic alliance between Esteve and the Barcelona Science Park

Esteve and the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) have been working closely since 2003, when Esteve established the first research facility at the PCB. This collaboration became even closer and became an strategic alliance in June 2012, when Esteve established its Center for Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development at the new Cluster Building at the PCB. With the creation last May of the new ESTEVE-PCB Joint Research Unit –with the aim to coordinate and advance in different research projects in the discovery of new chemical compounds for pain management– Both organizations vindicates and reinforces the alliance.