World Diabetes Day - November 14

Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day. In 1997, the United Nations named November 14th as a World Health Day with a focus on Diabetes. The UN chose this day as it is also the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin.

For Lilly Canada, this day is particularly meaningful. It was the research collaboration between Eli Lilly Canada and Canada's own Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best which led to the world's first commercially available insulin to treat diabetes. From research discovery with some of Canada's most noted scientists, to commercialization and production in order to make a lifesaving product available around the world - I am particularly proud of the ongoing collaborative work that is taking place to continue to improve the lives of those with Diabetes. This work resulted in the introduction of the world's first insulin product in 1922 by Eli Lilly and Company.

I've blogged previously about the importance of life sciences innovation and reflected on a number of the noteworthy breakthroughs that have transformed treatment and patient or population health. In Diabetes, for example, this discovery of insulin meant patients were moved from death sentence to managed chronic condition.

But innovation doesn't stop with any one discovery and Lilly is continuing its research and advocacy as it relates to Diabetes awareness, prevention, fundraising and drug research. I thought I would take a look at some of the work that is being done here in Canada and across North America:

  • In the United States, Medtronic and Lilly Diabetes joined together as first ever National Presenting Sponsors of the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes.
  • Here in Canada, Lilly Canada is one of a number of JDRF partners. You can find out more about the work of JDRF here in Canada by checking out: www.jdrf.ca
  • As part of Diabetes Awareness Month, JDRF has also launched its 6th Annual JDRF Youth Video Contest theme: "Diabetes by Numbers" - what it's like living with T1D and all the numbers and counting associated with it. If you would like to participate, the deadline for entries is March 2014. I am looking forward to watching these when they are released and winners announced.

Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada, Invites You to Join Us this National Diabetes Awareness Month