Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Prevention of diabetes

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 12 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:764

Rapid Response:

Ethical consideration

Drugs to prevent the onset of diabetes patients at risk do
work. However their effectiveness seems to be inferior to
intensive life style interventions. The authors point to labour
intensive programms involving up to 16 one to one sessions to promote
healthier behaviour and correctly ask if those standarts are
economical to offer to larger populations. There is furthermore
concern if healthy behaviour is maintained after active intervention
has ceased.
Comparing both approaches misses one point. Many patients would
opt for the soft way of taking a pill when given the choice.
Financial resources in medicin all over the world are increasingly
restricted and rationing will ask question of effectiveness,
appropriateness and justice.
Health behaviour modification fits all three categories and if
patients were to have no choice but to take part in a well
balanced life style intervention its effectivity would be even

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 October 2006
Philipp Andreas Conradi
General Practitioner
Otto-Dix-Ring 98 01219 Dresden, Germany