Novo Nordisk, BI tout diabetes awareness month

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month and manufacturers in the space, including Boehringer Ingelheim and Novo Nordisk, are observing it with educational campaigns.

Novo Nordisk recruited actress Olympia Dukakis and her husband, actor Louis Zorich, for a diabetes awareness PSA debuting in New York City taxis next month.

Dukakis, 78, and Zorich, 85, appear in the latest iteration of Novo Nordisk's “Ask. Screen. Know.” campaign, urging people 65 and over to ask their doctor for a free diabetes screening. Zorich was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during his last screening. The spot, which will air on CNN's airport network, encourages viewers to visit, where they can send emails or voicemails to friends and family from Dukakis urging them to take advantage of a Medicare benefit covering diabetes screenings.

Dukakis and Zorich will speak at AARP's Vegas@50+ convention on October 23, and will be available for interviews in November. Banner ads will run on sites targeting seniors, including and

Seven out of 10 US adults age 65 and older have diabetes or pre-diabetes, the company said. Fewer than 10% of older adults on Medicare are taking advantage of the free screening benefit. Boehringer Ingelheim and the Diabetes Hands Foundation are seeking to raise awareness of diabetes with a contest inviting adults with diabetes to submit videos describing life with diabetes through one of the five senses.

Videos could run up to three minutes and “should express creativity and originality, be truthful and convey emotion in a compelling, evocative and personal way,” the sponsors said.

The contest was scheduled to coincide with World Diabetes Day on November 14. Three weekly finalists were chosen based on unique views, average rating, quantity and quality of comments, creativity and originality. Prizes include kitchen scales, meter bags and books on living with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association is launching its new Stop Diabetes campaign, advertised as: “Not just an event, it's the beginning of a movement.”

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