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It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: a new pilot program will allow some pharmacists to prescribe CGMs, Georgia becomes the latest state to pass a law securing Glucagon for schools, new info about COVID-19 and new cases of T1D, insulin pump infusion set and skin reaction study, does kombucha tea lower blood glucose 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 happening now
In the news is brought to you by AG1. AG1 helps you build your health,
foundation first.
New pilot program to allow pharmacists to prescribe CGMs. This comes from the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, with support from Helmsley Charitable Trust. While many patients with diabetes may not even have access to a primary care physician, the average person interacts with their community pharmacist 12x more often than their primary care provider. The program will launch in 20 community pharmacy practices across the U.S. There will be a 90-day enrollment period followed by 12 months of monitoring and management
We told you recently about Mobi’s approval, that’s Tandem’s tiny pump, billed as the world’s smallest durable automated insulin delivery system. Convatec Group now saying they’ve partnered with Tandem on a new five-inch infusion set for the Mobi. Not a lot more information than that, but interesting because while Convatec makes infusion sets for just about every tubed pump, last year, Tandem acquired another infusion set developer, Capillary Biomedical.

New law in Georgia to make sure all schools have emergency glucagon on hand and that it can be used for any student. House Bill 440 took effect on July 1, 2023. It will allow public and private schools in Georgia to acquire and keep a supply of glucagon. It allows prescribers to provide standing orders or prescriptions for ready-to-use glucagon to schools so that this medication can be rapidly administered to students in an emergency. Schools will also be able to work directly with glucagon manufacturers or third-party suppliers to obtain the products for free or at fair market or reduced prices. In 2018 a school nurse in Illinois used another students glucagon on a different study having an emergency, breaking the law. It’s since been changed in Indiana and now, in Georgia. Disclaimer: the state rep who sponsored this bill, Doug Stoner is married to my dear friend Trip Stoner who lives with type 1.

Georgia Bill to Help Schools Treat Hypoglycemic Emergencies Becomes Law

I think most of us know this but good to see research on it. A new study shows skin reactions at insulin pump infusion sites are common among people with type 1 diabetes who use the devices and can lead to delivery failure.
researchers at the University of Washington, in Seattle, used biopsies and noninvasive imaging to compare insulin pump sites with control sites in 30 patients. They found
Several differences were found at pump sites in comparison with control sites, including fibrosis, inflammation, eosinophils, a disease-fighting white blood cell which indicated an allergic reaction here.
The inflammatory response, they say, “may result in tissue changes responsible for the infusion site failures seen frequently in clinical practice.” Nearly all patients (93.3%) reported itchiness at the site, and 76.7% reported skin redness.

While the researchers think preservatives in the insulin or the makeup of the infusion sets are probably to blame, they admit they don’t really understand it fully yet.
Very large new study seems to confirm that the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a jump in cases of type 1 diabetes in children and teenagers. This study pooled data from 17 previous studies and looked at 38-thousand people under the age of 19. They found the incidence of type 1 was about 14-percent higher during 2020, the first year of the pandemic, than in the previous year. The incidence rose higher still in the second year of the pandemic, up 27% from 2019.
Before COVID-19, the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children was rising at a steady rate of around 2–4% a year.
The meta-analysis did reaffirm that children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes tended to present with more severe forms of disease during the pandemic than before. The incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of new-onset type 1 diabetes, rose by 26% from 2019 to 2020, probably because people were hesitant or unable to seek emergency care when early symptoms appeared.
It’s still unclear what triggered the sudden increase in diabetes and how long the trend might persist. It’s also important to keep in mind that a few researchers have spoken out that they believe the increase sounds implausible. And that Studies from Finland7, Scotland8 and Denmark9 could not directly link coronavirus infections to the increase in type 1 diabetes.
Commercial – AG1
New research shows the best time to predict childhood type 1 diabetes is ages 2-6, when screening detects 80-percent of future cases. Research shows screening children ages 2-6 best predicts childhood type 1 diabetes, successfully detecting 80% of future cases. Early screening also leads to more timely treatment, better health outcomes, and less diabetes distress. These researchers reviewed findings that screened 90-thousand children under the age of 6 and 32-thousand children under 18. These researchers emphasized the need to work towards the adoption of universal screening at the state government, payer, and healthcare provider levels.
Very small pilot study suggesting that kombucha reduces blood glucose levels in adults with type 2. I’m including this because you’ll likely hear a lot about it.. but keep in mind, the sample size was too small for statistical significance. A total of 12 participants with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to consume 240 mL of either a kombucha product or placebo daily with dinner for 4 weeks. They then waited 8 weeks and switched to the other product for another 4 weeks.

Kombucha significantly lowered average fasting blood glucose – on average from 164 to 116.
Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast.

Afon, a Welsh based company, is working on a non-invasive glucose sensor that has the potential to revolutionize the way blood glucose levels are monitored.

We’ve heard these types of promises before, but are yet to see something materialise into a real-world product. With the development of optical sensors in the early 2010s, the concept of using technology to monitor glucose levels in a non-invasive manner was first brought up. Light is used by these sensors to obtain signals from beneath the skin. For several years, there has been discussion about incorporating such technology for glucose monitoring by smartwatches. Afon adopts an entirely different approach. Its blood glucose sensor is called Glucowear. It is an RF sensor that fits under the base of the wrist. The gizmo uses radio frequencies to obtain signals from beneath the skin. Unlike optical sensors this technology provides real-time monitoring with no time lag.

Hoping for a 2024 launch date
The company stated that they hope to have the device on the market by early 2024. This is an extremely optimistic goal given the stringent requirements imposed by health regulators. There is no information available on how well Afon is progressing with regulatory approval, and the company’s website makes no mention of the regulatory process. So far the Afon Blood Glucose Sensor has undergone three rounds of testing at Profil, a world-renowned diabetes research center in Germany. A multi-phase trial of this technology will be conducted at Swansea University’s Joint Clinical Research Facility (JCRF) later in 2023. There will also be other multi-site trials before the device hits retail in 2024. Glucowear delivers real-time continuous glucose monitoring through its wireless integration with a smart device. Designed to be placed under a user’s smartwatch, the sensor allows the said device to serve as an integral part of the monitoring system. Afon promotes the Glucowear as a comfortable wearable and ensures that the painless CGM has a battery lifespan of up to 14 days when fully charged.
On the podcast next week.. talking to Justin, better known as DiabeTech, who was diagnosed with T1D by TikTok! Last week I talked to the author of Sweeite!

That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.


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