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Costly Chronic Disease Epidemic Must Rank Higher on Political Agenda

For Immediate Release
Opportunities for health care improvement and savings abound for next president
PFCD Outlines Opportunities for Health Care Improvement and Savings for Next President, Answering Call from More than 55,000 Americans and Nearly 100 Economists 

Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2016) As the presidential campaign hurtles towards the general election and voters are called on to elect the next leader of our country, the state of our nation’s health and health care loom large. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today released “The Costly Chronic Disease Epidemic,” a white paper highlighting the challenges Americans face in the grips of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs. In recent weeks more than 55,000 Americans and nearly 100 economists have joined together in agreement that chronic disease is arguably the highest domestic priority facing our next president. Our nation’s health care spending cannot be addressed without giving serious attention to chronic disease and its impact on our entire population and the economy.
Affecting nearly every single American in some way, the adverse effects of chronic disease ripple throughout families and workplaces across the U.S. Nearly one in two working age adults has more than one chronic condition. Diabetes and arthritis are estimated to cost American families more than $116 billion per year in lost wages and other economic losses in addition to the medical costs associated with those diseases.
In the white paper, PFCD has highlighted what is most often overlooked, chronic disease is not only preventable but there is also vast opportunity from improved prevention and better management to change course. Supported with case studies, PFCD puts forth five guiding principles for health care that:

  • Prioritize Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions. 

  • Encourage Continued Innovation in Treatment and Delivery of Health Care.
  • Improve Access to Recommended Care.
  • Promote Health Across Generations. 

  • Translate Knowledge into Action. 

Opportunities to change the course of chronic disease abound, are attainable and are more than worthwhile. The World Health Organization estimates that as much as 80 percent of premature heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancers could be avoided entirely if Americans avoided tobacco, developed healthier eating habits, and were more physically active. In terms of improved treatment, a medical breakthrough that delayed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by just five years could prevent 5.7 million Americans from developing Alzheimer’s and would save $367 billion a year within 25 years of its introduction.

“Chronic disease puts immense pressure on not only our health care system, but our entire economy. Prioritizing prevention, better management of chronic disease and cure innovation are critical needs that both the public and private sectors must acknowledge and address in order to protect the future of our country,” urged Ken Thorpe, PFCD Chairman. “Wellness is not one size fits all, and our elected officials must be committed to commonsense reforms that can improve the lives of millions of Americans.”

Please visit for more information on PFCD, its partners and their efforts to challenge, educate and mobilize policymakers, presidential candidates especially, and all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors in order to elevate chronic disease prevention and advocate for policies to implement better health management.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease. Learn more by visiting