It’s It’s “In the News…” a look at the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. This week: a troubling new study about how many people with diabetes ration insulin, a new study looks at OpenAPS compared to traditional pumps, more research on Beta Bionics’ iLet pump, an old diabetes drug might help in the fight against dementia, and more!
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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.
A new study shows nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. with diabetes either skipped, delayed or used less insulin than was needed to save money. That comes out to roughly 1.3 million adults, or 16.5% of those who need insulin. The findings were based on data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and which interviews tens of thousands of Americans about their health-related experiences. It was the first time that the CDC had included questions about insulin use, though concerns about sky-high insulin prices have been reported for years.
Starting Jan. 1, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in August, will cap the monthly cost of insulin at $35 for seniors on Medicare. The bill, however, will leave out millions of Americans with private health insurance as well as those who are uninsured. It was also found to be more common among people with type 1 diabetes, at 18.6%, compared to those with type 2 diabetes, at 15.8%
New islet cell transplant study looks very promising. Long term outcomes of two phase 3 clinical trials shows many patients didn’t need insulin to maintain their blood sugar for up to eight years. It also showed that a new approach required fewer transplants than typical and was exceedingly safe. These trials included people who had kidney transplants and showed islet cell transplants for those people was safe and effective.
75 percent who initially were able to come off insulin therapy, more than half maintained total insulin independence, meaning they needed no additional insulin injections throughout the years of follow-up.
Study out of New Zealand looked at DIY diabetes tech and compared to some commercial offerings. Not sure what they were tyring to prvoe here because they looked at a closed loop system OpenAPS and compared it to a regular old pump and CGM system with no automation. No surprisingly, the people with type 1 in the AID group had much more time in range – about 14 percent more – than those using a standalone pump and CGM. No severe lows or DKA in either group. But these days, IMO, looking at an automated insulin delivery system to a pump and CGM that don’t communicate is like comparing apples and chain saws.
More good news for the iLet Bionic Pancreas. A clinical trial, conducted at 16 clinical sites across the United States, enrolled 326 participants ages 6 to 79 years who had type 1 diabetes and had been using insulin for at least 1 year.
Participants were randomly allocated to a treatment group using the bionic pancreas or a standard-of-care control group that continued with their pre-trial method of glucose monitoring and insulin dosing.
In participants using the bionic pancreas, A1C improved from 7.9% to 7.3%, yet remained unchanged among the control group. The iLet doesn’t use carb counting – just meal announcements and it sets basal rates with just the user’s body weight. It’s currently in front of the US FDA, awaiting approval.
Insulet issued an urgent medical device correction on Monday related to battery problems with a component of its Omnipod DASH system.
The device uses a wearable insulin pod that’s controlled by a personal diabetes manager (PDM), a smartphone-like device that does the calculations for bolus insulin doses.
Insulet plans to replace the PDMs for all of its current Omnipod DASH users globally, incurring an aggregate charge of $35 million to $45 million, J.P. Morgan Analyst Robbie Marcus wrote in a Monday research note.
Insulet said it received reports of some Omnipod DASH users having battery problems with their PDM devices, including the battery swelling, fluid leaking from the battery, and in rare cases, extreme overheating. In a letter to users, the company said it plans to ship updated devices to all current Omnipod DASH customers in the coming months.
The battery issue applies to all of Insulet’s Omnipod DASH PDMs, but the likelihood of problems may increase if the device has been in use longer than 18 months. Charging the device to a full battery and leaving it on the charger overnight also increases the risk.
So far, Insulet said it has not received reports of any injuries related to the battery issues.
The company advised patients to monitor their PDMs for battery problems, including a bulging back cover and the device losing its charge very quickly, overheating or emitting an odor.
If patients notice any of these problems, they should not charge the device, stop using the system and switch to a backup insulin plan as soon as they can. Users can also contact Insulet for a temporary replacement device.
MDT) announced today that it introduced a new diabetes management program for users of the MiniMed 770G insulin pump.
The medtech giant calls the new program My Insights. It designed it exclusively for individuals using the MiniMed 770G hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system.
Using an individual’s data, My Insight provides personalized tips, trends and reminders to help customers manage their diabetes. Its personalized recommendations come through via monthly emails with educational content. Medtronic aims to make the content relevant based on what the individual experiences.
Medtronic said it represents the first diabetes management program to go beyond “generalized tips.” Instead, it offers personalized suggestions using data from the integrated insulin pump system.
The company said it made My Insights available in the U.S. to anyone using MiniMed 770G.
Some countries are seeing shortages of Ozempic, a weekly injectable meant for people with diabetes but can be prescribe off label for weight loss. Demand has gone way up since some Tik Tok and social media influencers have shared Ozempic as a weight loss drug. Diabetes groups and especially Australian advocacy groups have advised doctors to limit prescribing the drug to people with Type 2 diabetes.
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
New research shows an older drug for type 2 might help reduce the risk for dementia. People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing dementia. These researchers looked though 500-hundred thousand past medical records and found that an older class of type 2 diabetes medication known as glitazones helps reduce a person’s dementia risk by 22%. These reerahres say its very promising but they want to see more real world study and also combine glitazones with other types of treatments
On the podcast next week.. Kerri Sparling from SixUntilMe
The past episode was all about teens and type 1 – a deep dive into why teen retreats work from the people who organize a great one.. and how adults with type 1 still use the lessons they learned as teens.
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.