It’s “In the News…” the only LIVE diabetes newscast!
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Top stories this week include the conversation around COVID booster shots for people with diabetes, Lyumjev insulin is approved for use in pumps, news from Beta Bionics’ partner Zealand glucagon, Insuin4All at the White House and a T1D family travels to see a T1D Major Leaguer. It turns into a very cool meet and greet!
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Episode transcript below

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 on Wednesday August 18th 2021 – and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast.. so you can read more if you want, whenever you want.


In the News is brought to you by Real Good Foods! We are big fans, glad to have them here: Real Food You Feel Good About Eating.


Our top story.. as the US looks into booster shots for COVID-19, there are a lot of questions about what that means for people with diabetes. Right now, those with weakened immune systems are eligible to receive a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The White House announced a plan just today to start covering all Americans later this year.

Right now the CDC says people with diabetes who also have one of its listed immune-compromising conditions “should consider getting an additional dose.” The American Diabetes Association, together with 14 other health organizations, has sent a letter to the CDC asking them to “consider the health risks people with diabetes are facing with COVID-19,” noting the group has made up about 40% of all COVID-19 deaths.


Lyumjev (LOOM-jhev) gets the US FDA okay for use in insulin pumps for adults. This is Lilly’s ultra rapid acting insulin, approved last summer for type 1 or type 2 via pen or syringe. It’s humalog with two additives – one helps open up blood vessels for faster absorption, the other enhances the insulin’s action time.

Lyumjev joins Novo Nordisk’s faster acting Fiasp already approved for pumps and for kids.


Beta Bionics announces progress with one of its partners, Zealand Pharma. A compatibility study is complete and they are on track to  begin screening into the iLet bi-hormonal bionic pancreas pivotal trial by the end of this year.

Some interesting tidbits in the Zealand conference call. They are studying exercise induce hypoglycemia which they call “an area of significant unmet medical needs”

They’re also looking at obesity – focusing on the hormone Amylin. They have an analog that should be in Phase 1 clinical development later this year.  Amylin is a hormone that helps you feel full – it’s secreted with insulin from the pancreas – people with type 1 don’t have enough of it and people with type 2 have issues as well.


Another peptide, this one called MOTS-c – is showing promise in very early testing to prevent type 1 diabetes and maybe other autoimmune disease. It helps regulate the immune system.

These researchers at the University of Southern California and Seoul National University found – IN MICE – that treatment with MOTS-C prevented the destruction of the animals’ beta cells, and kept the mice from developing hyperglycemia.

The research was published in the journal Cell Reports.


A new study published in the journal Neurology is reporting an association between a particular class of drugs used to treat type 2 decreased Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. It is unclear how it all works, so Alzheimer’s experts are calling for large-scale clinical trials.

Separately, An Australian observational study last year saw significantly slower rates of cognitive decline in older diabetic patients taking metformin, compared to rates of decline seen in non-diabetic patients not taking the drug.

All subjects were followed for around six years to measure decline over time and cognitive scores were similar in all groups at the start of the study.


File this one under – Shocking! No, I don’t believe it!

New study shows that you can save money with generic medication for diabetes.

investigators in India conducted a prospective study over 6 months to better understand the variations between branded diabetes drugs and generic options, including other complications of type 2.


A total of 1800 patients were included, ranging from younger than 20 years to age 100 .

In a price comparison for the most commonly prescribed branded and generic drugs, the investigators found significant savings for patients prescribed the generic options. For example, a generic metformin had a 40% savings. This was the lowest savings, however, with differences as high as 75.8% for the other generics.

These researchers say Prescribing generic drugs is one way to lower medication costs in chronic care, but the biggest barrier to generic drug adoption is patient and physician skepticism about their efficacy and quality.

Editorial here – really? There also may be the fact that there is no true generic insulin – and the diabetes market is such a big money maker that PBMs and insurers may not always cover when a generic is possible. I know this study focused on type 2 and not on insulin but At least in the US most patients with diabetes would welcome more generics.


Big day for insulin pricing advocacy at the White House last week. Gail DeVore – a long time grass roots insulin 4 all supporter sat down with President Biden and took over the White House Twitter feed for a few hours. This was as Biden unveiled a big policy proposal that could change the way drug prices are set for Medicare

Medicare can’t currently negotiate prices on prescription drugs. Biden’s new plan wants to change that for “a subset of expensive drugs that don’t face any competition in the market.” The plan would then call to take that to private insurers.

There is a terrific article about Gail’s work and her meeting with the president over at healthline and I’ll link that up. Thanks for doing the hard work, Gail, and for bringing our voices to the White House


More to come, but first, I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors who helps make Diabetes Connections possible.

Real Good Foods. Where the mission is Be Real Good

They make nutritious foods— grain free, high in protein, never added sugar and from real ingredients—They keep adding to the menu line with terrific ways to start your day like waffles & breakfast sandwiches and great meals made with cauliflower & stuffed chicken. You can buy online or find a store near you with their locator right on the website. We really love the ice cream.. I’ll put a link in the FB comments and as always at d-c dot com.

Back to the news…


Congrats to those diabetes care and education specialists recognized at the virtual A-D-C-E-S-21 Annual Conference. Specialist of the year is Dr. Samuel Grossman, a clinical pharmacy specialist and diabetes care and education specialist at the department of Veterans Affairs in NY.

And Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Steve Edelman, former guest of the podcast and the founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes organization and conferences. Dr. Edelman has been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 15 and was recently named in the top 1% of endocrinologists in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report.

There were many other awards given out. Please check out the link for all the names and info.


And finally I want to share a terrific story I saw in a FB group and got permission to share. Adam Duvall has type 1 diabetes and plays for the Atlanta Braves. The Akin family lives in NY and decided to make a trip to watch him play – this game was in Washington DC so it was quite a haul but it was the closest they could find to go see him.

Here’s what Christina Akin says happened, “Once the game started, in the 2nd inning, we got Duvall’s attention with our sign (and loud yelling) and he came over and gave our son who has T1D a baseball.

Throughout the game, we continued to cheer his name and held our sign up high. He would salute or wave our way and even took his T- Slim out to show our son that he had the same pump as him.

At the end of the game, Duvall told us to come over to the dugout, so we met him and he spent several minutes talking to us and was such an awesome guy! He signed the sign we made, signed the baseball that he gave our son and even gave him the baseball bat that he used to hit his home run!”

You know.. the diabetes community is like no other. Even celebrities and pro athletes who live with it get it. Thanks Adam Duvall for doing all of that.. and thank you to Christina Akin for sharing just a wonderful story.

Please join me wherever you get podcasts for our next episode -Tuesday –  you’ll hear from Kyle Banks – a Broadway performing diagnosed with type 1 while acting in the Lion King. This week’s episode out right now is with my son.. back home from one month overseas with a youth program not focused on type 1. He’s 16 and you bet I’m happy he’s home, but we both learned a lot.

That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! If you’re watching this replay on YouTube please subscribe, if you’re listening via the audio podcast please follow. Whatever it’s called – it’s always free.

Thanks and I’ll see you soon


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