Every week “In the News…” brings you the top stories and headlines around the diabetes community. This week: Omnipod 5 is approved, T1D families win a NYC field trip lawsuit, the first drug to delay type 1 DX gets a second chance and getting glucagon without a prescription
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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. If you’re new we go live on social media first and then All sources linked up at diabetes dash connections dot com when this airs as a podcast.
Looking to get organized? Check out my new guide with top tips to clear your diabetes clutter. Everything from how to start to where to donate and how to keep it from taking over your house. Head over to the home page to get organized.
Our top story.. Omnipod 5 is approved. The US FDA has okayed the system more than a year after it was submitted – held up like a lot of other diabetes tech due to COVID. This is a hybrid closed loop which means you still to give insulin for meals but it will work hard to keep you in range. It’s the first system approved with phone control and with a bit of A-I.. the system uses what it learns about you to improve dosing. I spoke to the company’s medical director for the podcast this week and I recommend you listen to that episode for tons of detail on how the system works, what makes it different from what’s already on the market and details about insurance, Medicare and a lot more.
Medtronic is sending out a letter this week to everyone who received one of its new or replacement insulin pumps within the last six months to remind them to make sure they have saved their basal insulin rates on their devices. This is considered an “urgent medical device correction” notice and was prompted by a series of injuries recently due to the use of pumps that had not been properly programmed.. they came out of the box with no basal rates which is normal.. and for whatever reason, users didn’t know to enter them. Moving forward, Medtronic will look into making their pump menus more user-friendly and updating the educational materials that come with the box to be more clear. It’s a good reminder that whatever pump you use, keep track of the programming – we take photos of my son’s pump settings with his phone and back the photos up periodically.
Big ruling in favor of kids with diabetes and other disabilities.. federal court has found that New Yrok City’s Department of Education routinely denies students with diabetes access to field trips and bus transportation. Three sets of parents of T1D kids and the American Diabetes Association sued the district after no care was provided for students on field trips and that the policy of “we’ll call 911” was insufficient for bus riders. The court has ordered the district to train bus drivers and attendants in the use of glucagon and will hire nurses to help on field trips. Many states don’t mandate nurses on fields trips, just trained staff, but NYC does and that made it very difficult for them to follow their own rules. Worth noting, these parents did not seek monetary damages, but filed the suit with the hope of policy change.
For the second year in a row, in 2021 – more than 100,000 Americans died from diabetes. The story, as reported, is that now Congress should overhaul diabetes care and prevention, promoting consumption of healthier foods, ensuring paid maternity leave, put taxes on sugary drinks and expand access to affordable housing, among other areas. But – and this is just my opinion – they could also tackle the price of insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies. That’s mentioned in this report, but well down the list and isn’t what most of the headlines have picked up on. About 37 million Americans, or 11% of the population, have diabetes, and one in three Americans will develop it in their lifetime if current trends continue, according to the commission.
Another chance for teplizumab. The FDA says Provention Bio can resubmit its application for this therapy to delay type 1 diabetes. The drug has been on hold since the agency questioned whether the planned commercial product was comparable to the product used in clinical trials. The resubmission should be ready to go “in the first quarter,” the company said. Teplizumab was granted a breakthrough-therapy designation by the FDA but was rejected last year.
Michigan’s attorney general is taking a close look at Eli Lilly, accusing the drugmaker of charging excessive prices for insulin. She’s asked a judge to authorize a probe under the state consumer protection law, including the use of subpoenas to get records and to interview company officials. Michigan supreme court rulings have prevented this kind of investigation before.. the attorney general says those decisions were wrongly decided and “have served to end many consumer cases, and have prevented countless others from ever beginning.”
North Carolina law goes into effect this week that allows pharmacists to dispense emergency glucagon without a prescription. There’s not a lot of detail on this – I’ve reached out to local pharmacists and they didn’t know about it. My question is.. which glucagon do they mean? The old red box one or the newer Baqsimi or Gvoke Hypopen? My guess is that whichever, the no prescription may mean paying completely out of pocket.. but I’ll find out. Interestingly this was part of a bill that also makes birth control available in NC without a prescription which I’d think would be bigger news.
A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Heather Walker was a guest on the podcast.. she is the author of (Un)doing Diabetes: Representation, Disability, Culture… and that book is now available for purchase! As we explained during the episode.. this book explores popular media representations of diabetes.. everything from TV, movies, theater, fiction, fanfiction, fashion and more. It’s meant for academia but you can get it on Amazon.. and I’ll link it up.
As I mentioned, our long format episode this week is with the folks at Insulet, makers of the omnipod. When that device was approved it bumped out the episode I had scheduled so next week we’re talking about what it’s like when type 1 is just one of the auto immune conditions you live with.. and the other one makes it very difficult to get a COVID vaccine.
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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.