Survey of benefits decision-makers about the burden of diabetes in the workplace reveals sleepless nights, secrets and solutions

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  • Two in three (67%) benefits decision-makers believe diabetes in the workplace is a significant financial burden1
  • Three in five (59%) say providing support for their employees with diabetes is among their top 3 priorities in the next 12 months1
  • Most (87%) say it is vital for employers to offer continual support to employees with diabetes1

INDIANAPOLIS, September 4, 2019 – In the silence of the night, seven out of ten benefits decision-makers at US employers are awake seeking a solution for the financial and human burden of diabetes management, according to the findings of a new survey.

As diabetes rates and associated costs continue to rise, Roche Diabetes Care commissioned Secrets & Solutions, a survey of over 200 benefits decision-makers at self-funded companies to learn their perceptions of the impact of diabetes in their workplaces, from the effects of blood sugar variability on the well-being, productivity, and absenteeism of employees with diabetes to potential solutions. Opinion Research Corporation conducted the survey.

“Diabetes doesn’t quit, and benefits decision-makers are very aware of the day-to-day physical and emotional demands of the condition on their employees and the resulting impact on the bottom line,” said Adam Berman, Director Franchise Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care. “They see a company-sponsored program like the RocheDiabetes Health Connection that simplifies diabetes management at work and at home for employees with the condition as a win-win.”

Survey highlights: Human burden of diabetes at work

  • Two in three (67%) believe their employees with diabetes find everyday management of their condition feels like a second full-time job.
  • Most (81%) believe employees with diabetes keep their condition a secret.
  • 91% believe employees would be less likely to keep their diabetes a secret if they could receive a company-sponsored program that simplified diabetes management.

Aligning with national statistics2, 43% of benefits decision-makers interviewed estimate diabetes prevalence in their companies of 10% or more; 8% estimate prevalence is 20%. Nearly half (47%) believe prevalence of pre-diabetes is 10% or more; 12% estimate 20% prevalence. Of all the health-related issues facing their workforces, benefits decision-makers say diabetes management has the biggest impact on the productivity of their company, compared with obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and mental health. Reduced productivity comes at a significant price: the total costs of diagnosed diabetes are estimated to have risen to $327 billion in 2017 with $90 billion driven by reduced productivity, according to the American Diabetes Association: Cost of Diabetes (2018)3.

Survey highlights: Financial burden of diabetes at work

  • 86% believe that difficulty managing diabetes is responsible for absenteeism and 29% have experienced increased administrative costs managing absenteeism
  • Nearly one in three (29%) have experienced increased costs to replace workers due to diabetes-related absence
  • One third (32%) of respondents cite indirect costs of diabetes resulting from fatigue, understaffing and reduced productivity
  • One in four (23%) say a fallout of diabetes at work is poor morale among employees who must perform work to cover absent co-workers

Studies show that participating in an integrated diabetes management program has a significant positive impact on glycemic control potentially driving cost savings for employers, payers, health systems and more.4 Benefits decision-makers agree, as virtually all (95%) report a company-sponsored diabetes support package would ease the human and financial burden.

Survey highlights: Support. Supplies. Solution

  • Half (49%) say helping employees to keep their blood sugar within an appropriate range has a tangible value for both the individuals’ well-being and the company’s bottom line
  • 90% think their employees with diabetes would value company access and time to monitor blood sugar and/or take insulin injections.
  • 84% believe a company-sponsored program that simplified their diabetes management would contribute to increased productivity
  • 89% agree a company-supported program that would support employees with diabetes could lead to higher quality of life and reduced sick time and related expense.

“The survey finding that 90% of decision-makers believe their employees with diabetes would feel more empowered at work if they had a company-supported program to help simplify everyday diabetes management is a powerful motivator for us at Roche,” continued Mr. Berman. “The RocheDiabetes Health Connection workplace diabetes program helps employers partner with their employees with diabetes to gain better control of blood sugar levels and feel more confident at work and demonstrate the financial benefits to the company bottom line and reputation as a caring employer.”

Survey Methodology

The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation among 201 U.S. benefits decision-makers at self-funded companies, adults ages 21–75, between July 11–17, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey.

About RocheDiabetes Health Connection

The RocheDiabetes Health Connection program offers a personal diabetes coach available on-demand to offer personalized support and answer questions, unlimited Accu-Chek® testing supplies delivered to the home without ever having to place an order, premium access to the mySugr app—the world’s most popular digital diabetes platform with more than 1.8 million registered users worldwide—and instant, automatic digital entry of blood glucose tests in real-time.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and www.mysugr.com.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

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For more information please contact:
Amy Lynn (amy.lynn@roche.com)

1The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation among 201 U.S. benefits decision-makers at self-funded companies, adults ages 21–75, between July 11–17, 2019.

2Dall TM, Roary M, Yang W, et al. Health care use and costs for participants in a diabetes disease management program, United States, 2007–2008. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(3).

3American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care. 2018;41:917–928. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html

4Hompesch et al., ATTD 2017.