Top stories In the News this week, United Healthcare announces changes to how they cover insulin for some, a new study looks at CGM use in people with type 2 over the age of 65, another company begins islet cell clinical trials, a new tool to treat diabetic neuropathy pain, gestational diabetes is on the rise, 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.
Our top story.. United Healthcare says it will have no “out of pocket” expenses for insulin starting January first. It’s doing the same for other critical drugs like glucagon, epinephrine and albuterol. Looking into this a bit more, though, it’s not the boon it first seems. This only covers certain eligible patients. Stat news says about a quarter of United Healthcare’s patients will qualify but I saw a few commentators say it could actually be less than 5-percent. UnitedHealth Group shared that it earned $5.1 billion in profit for the second quarter of 2022.
Not too surprising but a good study about people with type 2 using CGMs. This was for people using basal insulin only and over 65 years old. They found when given a CGM, their A1Cs went down an average of 1 full point with fewer lows. These are the kinds of studies that may seem obvious to us but that are needed to show insurers they need to cover.
New device approved to treat pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The DyAnsys’ First Relief system is set behind the ear – its an adhesive, nothing surgical. It features three small, acupuncturelike needles that reach through the skin behind the ear to access the nervous system. Once in place, the device continuously emits low-level electrical pulses over the course of several days at a time; the FDA cleared the system for repeated treatments spanning up to eight weeks.
Another company having success with islet cell transplants. ProtoKinetix announced they’re completely safety objectives and will start phase 1 clinical trials of their molecule PKX-001. Not much to report here yet, but I didn’t want to news of the Vertex/Viactye merger to over shadow that there are other efforts going on here.
Roche and Insulet settle their lawsuit.. this was a patent issue and both companies were suing each other. Insulet will give Roche 20-million dollars and Roche has agreed not to sue Insulet for five years. This was set to go to trial next week.
Gestational diabetes is on the rise, climbing 30% between 2016 and 2020, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC analysis showed that cases increased 13% during the first year of the pandemic alone, a much larger spike than the previous annual increases of about 5%. Experts say that the sharp increase during Covid may be because the disease accelerated people’s adoption of a sedentary lifestyle and led to pandemic-related physical and emotional stress. experts are concerned outcomes in 2021 may be worse, when Covid hit harder.
If anything, the authors and experts said, the new finding is likely an undercount. Relying on birth certificate data, which the CDC study did, can miss cases that are not captured by a physician on those forms. “If you think about it, somebody who’s doing 20 deliveries in a night, or ten deliveries in a night, is just kind of trying to get those reports and certificates out there,” said Morgan. “They’re not paying as much attention to some of those details.”
Right back to the news in a moment but first As I mentioned, The T1D Exchange Registry is an online research study, designed to harness the power of individuals with type 1 diabetes. It’s a research study conducted online over time, designed to foster innovation and improve the lives of people with T1D. 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. By sharing opinions, experiences and data, patients can help advance meaningful T1D treatment, care and policy Sign up at T1DExchange.org slash Stacey (that’s S-T-A-C-E-Y).
Next week on the podcast I’m talking to Sebastien Sasseville who recently completey the absolutely exhausting sounding Race Across America. We’ll talk about how you manage type 1 – and everything else – when you’re spending more than 20 hours a day on a bike for 12 days! The long format episode out right now is with the folks at Diabetes Wise – that’s a website to help you choose diabetes technology.. they’ve added information for doctors – this may help you educate your heathcare providers on why you want the pump or cgm system that you do..
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That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.