Diabetes drugmakers Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) are spending billions of dollars per year on research to develop new medicine that can control this disease in entirely new ways. Will this R&D investment be money well spent? Find out just how big the market may be for diabetes treatment in the future in this clip from the Motley Fool's Industry Focus: Healthcare podcast.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on Jun. 15, 2016. 

Kristine Harjes: Todd, can you kick us off with some numbers about the scope of this disease?

Todd Campbell: Absolutely. It's a monster, if you will, of a disease. It affects hundreds of millions of people. It cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually to treat. It's a global problem. People are calling it epidemic, if you will. There are forecasts out there among industry-watchers suggesting that 200 million more people are going to end up being diagnosed with this disease through 2040. That means there will be [about] 640 million people worldwide who are suffering with diabetes and, therefore, exposed to the risk of cardiovascular disease and some of the other diseases that can result from having diabetes for a lifetime, for a long time.

Harjes: It's really insane how these numbers have grown. There are 415 million people worldwide. That's roughly 9% of the world's population that have this disease, and that's more than doubled since 2000. Todd, as you mentioned, this is expected to grow pretty substantially within the next 20 years or so.

Gaby Lapera: What's really interesting is that in 2012, at least in the U.S., the CDC estimated that around 30% of people who had diabetes weren't diagnosed with diabetes yet.

Harjes: That's insane.

Campbell: Right. The pre-diabetes population is massive.

Harjes: 79 million pre-diabetics just within the United States.

Gaby Lapera has no position in any stocks mentioned. Kristine Harjes has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Novo Nordisk. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.