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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – we are also Live on YouTube and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast..
In the News is brought to you by The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom, Real life stories of raising a child with diabetes. Winner of the American Book Fest Prize for best new non-fiction. Available in paperback, on Kindle or as an audio book – all at Amazon.com.
New Congressional report from Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight & Reform keeping the focus on insulin pricing. It says Medicare could have saved more than $16.7 billion on insulin if it were allowed to negotiate like other health programs. This final report is the culmination of an almost 3-year investigation. Documents from Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi indicate these firms "raised their prices in lockstep in order to maintain 'pricing parity'. One particularly damning quote – a Novo Nordisk pricing analyst remarked, '[M]aybe Sanofi will wait until tomorrow morning to announce their price increase...that's all I want for Christmas',"
Surprising move in Europe – they’ve pulled the SGLT-2 inhibitor Forxiga from the market for people with type 1. AstraZeneca said the decision isn’t about safety but didn’t explain further. There are already concerns about an increased risk of DKA from SGLT-2 inhibitors in people with type 1.. that’s why they aren’t approved in the US.. but many advocates say the benefits outweigh the risks. The UK Chief Executive of JDRF, said it is "appalling" that the drug has been withdrawn, as quote "many people with type 1 are finding it an effective and useful tool to help manage their glucose levels."
The FDA issues a warning to Medtronic over it’s diabetes headquarters. This is related to a July inspection that led to recalls of the MiniMed™ 600 series pump, and a remote controller device for MiniMed™ 508 and Paradigm™ pumps. Medtronic says they are implementing a range of corrective actions and process improvements related to the observations, and will continue reviewing these actions with the FDA.
Here’s a new one. Israeli scientists have discovered that the human fetus makes insulin in its intestines before birth and say this means that adults may have a “backup” system that could be reactivated to treat diabetes. This is peer-reviewed research published in the journal Nature Medicine. These scientists say there’s a lot here they don’t understand and practical applications are a long way off but.. the hope is that some kind of medication could one day reactivate these cells in adults.
Good news Sugarmate fans! Late last week the app makers announced it would once again connect with Dexcom for US customers. They issued an apology and thanked users for their patience. Still working on re-connecting for those outside the US. This is all about changes to the Dexcom API, the way apps talk to each other.
Dexcom expands it’s physical presence, opening a second large facility in Arizona. Big celebration this week with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 500-thousand square foot facility and a job fair. In looking into this story, I found that earlier this year the other Dexcom center was used as an indoor drive-thru Covid vaccination site.. a partnership between Dexcom, the Arizona Health Department and Walgreens.
Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Year are the scientists behind the COVID vaccines. While there are of course many people at work here, they highlighted four – including Dr. Drew Weissman who has lived with type 1 for more than 50 years. He and partners began working on mRNA science for vaccines in 1997, publishing a landmark paper in 2005. There’s a lot more to this story of course.. DiabetesMine ran a photo of Weissman almost a year ago, getting the vaccine and you can see his insulin pump on his belt.
Miss America memorabilia moves to the Smithsonian, including items from Nicole Johnson, the first Miss America with type 1 diabetes. Johnson posted about this on social media saying she was donating her insulin pump, swimsuit and letters from children with diabetes that she received during her reign in 1999. The exhibit will mark 100 years of the competition. Other items include a hearing-aid-compatible microphone used by Heather Whitestone, the first deaf Miss America of 1995 and the first swimsuit worn in the pageant.
New York Times article today about model Lila Moss wearing her omnipod during a fashion show a few months ago. They included a few other runway models with type 1 and got some quotes from JDRF.. nothing too new here but worth mentioning. One tidbit.. it’s not uncommon, these models say, for pumps and CGMs to be airbrushed out if the client or they wish it to be – they’re keeping their tech on for the shoots.
Before I let you go, a reminder that the podcast this week is my favorite things! I had a great time with this episode.. it’s short and fun I think – and I talk about accessories, storage, toys and more. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or if you’re listening to this as on a podcast app, just go back an episode.
Next week our predictions episode – DiabetesMine Managing Editor Mike Hoskins joins me as we talk about tech in the new year.
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.