It’s In the News.. a look at the top news stories in the diabetes community over the past seven days. This week, The US FDA gives the green light to Dexcom’s G7 CGM, Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Pharmacy puts out a survey all about insulin, new studies looking at teens with type 1 and blood pressure as well as CGM and hospitalizations at the VA and much more!
Previous episodes on Dexcom’s G7: https://diabetes-connections.com/?s=g7
Episode Transcription Below (or coming soon!)
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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.
In the news is brought to you by T1D Exchange! T1D Exchange is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving outcomes for the entire T1D population.
Our top story is big news.. Dexcom’s G7 gets FDA approval. This device with a shorter, half hour warm up time, with the sensor and transmitter all in one piece was approved for people age 2 and up with all types of diabetes. It was approved as an iCGM as expected, which is good news for the automated systems the G6 currently works with.. much more to come of course, we’ve done a lot of episodes on the features and design of the G7 so I’d urge you to listen to those if you haven’t yet and of course we’ll follow up with a new episode with Dexcom as soon as they’ll talk to me!
In other news.. Illinois Attorney General files a fraud lawsuit, accusing Eli Lilly, CVS Pharmacy, Novo Nordisk and several other pharmaceutical companies of artificially inflating the cost of insulin by over 1,000% since the late 1990s. The complaint singles out Eli Lilly in particular, noting the price for a dose of its analog insulin Humalog rose by 1,527% between 1997 and 2018. “Remarkably, nothing about these medications has changed,” the complaint states. “Today’s $350 insulin is the exact same drug defendants originally sold for $20.”
The suit also notes that 13% of Illinoisans, about 1.3 million people, live with diabetes, making the pharma companies’ alleged monopoly scheme a public health threat. There are several other state and class action suits against the insulin makers going through the courts right now. So far none have landed more than a glancing blow.
A new contender, though, might be entering the arena. Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Pharmacy put out a tweet this week asking for feedback on adding insulin to their lower-cost inventory. Quote – Insulin users: we are evaluating a future insulin test program and would like your feedback. If we offered a 90-day supply of a fast-acting insulin (up to 12 vials/8 packs of pens) for $170 incl. shipping, what would you think?” There’s a feedback form and I’ll link that up in the show notes.
People with diabetes who used glucose lowering drugs prior to getting COVID-19 seem to have fewer COVID-19 related adverse outcomes during hospitalization. The mediations have already been shown, albeit in conflicting findings, to have possible benefits regarding morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes who become infected with COVID-19. These meds include orals like Metformin as well as injectables like sglt2 inhibitors like Jardiance and Invokana GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic and Trulicity.
New research about opioids and diabetes. This study says people
People with diabetes who underwent surgery had a significantly increased rate of prolonged opioid use (POU) compared to people without diabetes who underwent surgery. 56% higher for people with type 2 and more than 200% higher for those with type 1. This was a big, retrospective, observational study of more than 43,000 people who had operations at a single diverse healthcare system in 2008-2019.
The researchers say this shows that in a real-world setting healthcare providers are generally not accounting for individual risk factors when prescribing postoperative opioids.
Teens with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) who took bromocriptine, a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 diabetes, had lower blood pressure and less stiff arteries after one month of treatment compared to those who did not take the medicine, according to a small study published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal. People with type 1 are at higher risk of high blood pressure and those diagnosed with T1D as children have even higher risks for heart disease. Therefore, researchers are interested in ways to slow down the onset of vascular disease in children with T1D.
The study’s small size is a limitation. However, the researchers note that further research into bromocriptine’s impact on vascular health in a greater number of people with Type 1 diabetes is warranted; they are planning larger trials.
CVS is facing a fraud charge with a lawsuit accusing them of deceptive fundraising in a campaign it held for the American Diabetes Association. Prior to each customer’s transaction, a checkout screen prompts the customer with several options for pre-selected dollar amounts, as well as an opt-out option, allowing donations to the diabetes association.
Yet, the plaintiff alleges, CVS did not forward donations to the diabetes association, but instead applied the donations toward a legally binding $10 million obligation CVS made to the diabetes association. In November, Edward L. Powers, a lawyer for CVS, filed a motion to dismiss the case, challenging the plaintiff and his lawyer on their interpretation of the alleged $10 million “debt.”
CVS says they agreed to fundraise from customers and turn over the donations to the diabetes association. After more than three years of fundraising, CVS would make up the difference between the cumulative customer donations and $10 million, according to the motion. The group bringing the suit disagrees and says everyone who made a campaign donations” are entitled to damages.
Wearing a CGM can keep you out of the hospital.. according to a new study focusing on Veterans Affairs clinics in the US. Wearing a CGM was associated with a lower risk for all-cause hospitalization and mortality in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This was even though the people with type 2 who received CGM were actually unhealthier [than non-CGM users] according to the researchers, who called the mortality reductions, dramatic.
During a presentation at the World Congress on Insulin Resistance, this researcher said:
“All of this data suggests that we may need to look at these types of outcomes in a much more serious fashion, because there may be some additional benefits that we didn’t appreciate. If true, then maybe CGM use may become more like the SGLT2 inhibitors, and we’ll start using them in a much more comprehensive way.”
Back to the news in a moment but first..
The T1D Exchange Registry is a research study conducted online over time, designed to foster innovation and improve the lives of people with T1D. The platform is open to both adults and children with T1D living in the U.S. Personal information remains confidential and participation is fully voluntary. Once enrolled, participants will complete annual surveys and have the opportunity to sign up for other studies on specific topics related to T1D. The registry aims to improve knowledge of T1D, accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments and technologies, and generate evidence to support policy or insurance changes that help the T1D community. By sharing opinions, experiences and data, patients can help advance meaningful T1D treatment, care and policy.
The registry is now available on the T1D Exchange website and is simple to navigate, mobile and user-friendly. For more information or to register, go to www.t1dregistry.org/stacey
outed by celebrities, raved about by TikTok users, and advertised by med spas, a new class of drugs for treating diabetes and obesity has exploded in popularity for its weight-loss effects, leading to rippling shortages across several of the medications.
Amid the surge in demand, Eli Lilly and pharmacies have started to tighten access to the latest of this type of drug, tirzepatide, focusing on giving it to people with type 2 diabetes, the only population it’s authorized for so far. But that’s left another set of patients scrambling — people with clinical obesity who turned to the medication as one of their few options for treatment.
The class of drugs are GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic the effects of a hormone that can help people feel full. Within this group, Novo Nordisk’s obesity drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic have been in short supply for months due to manufacturing issues and increased demand. Lilly’s diabetes medication Trulicity has also been in tight supply, according to the drugmaker. That leaves tirzepatide, sold under the name Mounjaro. Lilly said in a statement that the drug is currently not in shortage, but that the company is continuing to monitor availability of competitor therapies and “supply with a focus on access for people with type 2 diabetes.”
Related: Patients seeking novel weight loss drugs find a ‘wild west’ of online prescribers
In October, Lilly made changes to a discount program for the drug, now requiring people to attest they have type 2 diabetes. The coupons allowed patients to get the drug for $25 a month when it would otherwise cost about $1,000. Some pharmacies are also now checking if people have a diabetes diagnosis before filling prescriptions.
On the podcast next week.. yale lacrosse player Bri Carrasquillo was diagnosed just after her freshman year. Now she’s part of Dexcom U – a new program for college athletes with type 1.
Last week’s show was One Drop is making a CGM? We’ll talk to CEO Jeff Dachis about that. Listen wherever you get your podcasts
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.