It’s in the News.. the top diabetes stories of the past seven days. This week, one state caps not just insulin prices, but diabetes supplies for some, Lilly is out with a new integrated pen system, new study look at DKA at diagnosis of type 1 and what that means for health issues later on, and more!
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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.
And by my new book “Still The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: More Real Life Stories of Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes” available on Amazon now.
Delaware Governor John Carney last month signed Senate Bill 316, which will cap the monthly cost of diabetes supplies and equipment at $35 for those on state insurance plans. This law will make blood glucose meters and strips, urine testing strips, syringes, continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and supplies, and insulin pump, and pump supplies more affordable and accessible.
Senate Bill 316 will apply to state-regulated health plans and state employee plans, which will take effect in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The $35 per month cap includes deductible payments and cost-sharing amounts charged once a deductible is met. The cap does not, however, apply to high deductible health plans or catastrophic health plans.
Although much of the conversation about diabetes costs focuses on insulin, diabetes supplies are also a significant cost for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with diabetes have medical expenses of about 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.
Diabetes supplies account for about 15 percent of diabetes medical expenses. On average, people with diabetes, even those with private insurance, spend $490 out-of-pocket on diabetes-related supplies each year.
New report estimates 1 point 3 million adults with diabetes have rationed their use of insulin within the last year. That’s 16.5 percent of everyone who’s been prescribed insulin. We told you about this report published last month in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. It’s getting more attention – and it should – as the Washington Post picked it up for a series of reports their doing on health stats. The report attributes the rationing to the cost of the drug and what it describes as “inadequate” insurance coverage. The price of the four most popular types of insulin has tripled in the past decade, according to the American Diabetes Association.
One of the insulin makers will begin rolling out a new diabetes management platform in the next few weeks. Lilly is launching the Tempo platform, which includes prefilled, disposable Tempo Pens for insulin delivery with the compatible TempoSmart mobile app and the Tempo Smart Button, which is designed to track the pens’ insulin dosages.The Tempo Smart Button was cleared by the FDA in mid-September, Lilly said in this week’s announcement. When attached to the top of a Tempo insulin pen, it takes in and stores insulin dosing data, then automatically transfers that information to the TempoSmart app.
TempoSmart can connect to a variety of other devices and apps, like Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitors and Lilly’s own blood glucose monitor, among others, but also from more general health-tracking wearables like those from Fitbit, Garmin, Google and Apple.
New research at Georgia Tech shows promise in beta cell transplantation without having to take additional immunosuppressive drugs. This is cell therapy with a new biomaterial called iTol-100. That’s the basis of a new startup called iTolerance. Long way to go here but a lot of promise for many other conditions as well at type 1. This is less cell encapsulation, as other companies are working toward, but it’s more of a soft material that can mix right with the cells at the time of transplant. This research started with a three year grant from JDRF.
Not a big surprise, but children diagnosed while in DKA can increase the risk of health issues later on. These issues can include extended stays in hospital, poorer long-term control of blood sugar levels, and even a higher mortality rate.
The authors of the study point out that providing a comprehensive explanation of the classic symptoms of T1D in childhood to the general public, those active in the childcare or daycare settings, and primary care physicians could help raise awareness of the symptoms of T1D. Furthermore, public health measures could be used, e.g., implementing a general islet-cell autoantibodies screening program for children to reduce the number of dangerous metabolic imbalances.
New weekly injection for type 2 had some promising results, helping people meet blood glucose goals 4-12 weeks earlier than those taking traditional medications. The new medication is called Tirzepatide brand name Mounjaro, and it helped people meet weight loss and blood glucose targets four weeks sooner than semaglutide, which is branded as Ozempic or Wegovy and between four and 12 weeks thatn those treated with once daily long acting insulin like Tresiba.
Quick clarification from last week! I mentioned a study showing that people with type 1 see good results from taking GLP-1 receptor agonists and SGLT 2 inhibitors, two types of drugs approved for type 2. I had said that both also increased the risk of DKA. That’s not true.. I got it wrong. Only SGLT 2 inhibitors seem to increase that risk. The GLP-1 medicines have brand names like Ozempic or Trulicity and the SGLT-2 are Invokana or Jardiance.
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
On the podcast next week.. Tom from Type One Talks
The past episode was all about thinking through your use of CGM, questions to ask of yourself, your family and anyone with whom you plan to share.
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.