In the news logo featuring photos of swimmer Ethan Orr, diabetes pump supplies and a bottle and box of Lantus insulin


It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: Insulin-maker Sanofi lowers its prices and also acquires Provention, clinical trials begin on an out-patient surgery that could help treat type 2 diabetes, a swimmer DQ’d for the tape on his CGM gets the systemic changes he’d pushed for and more!

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Episode Transcription:

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 Athletic Greens ● AG1 is way more than greens.

Provention Bio’s been in a news a lot lately after the approval of Tzield to delay the development of type 1. Now French insulin-maker Sanofi has agreed to acquire it. The deal builds on an existing co-promotion agreement and gives Sanofi full ownership of the drug. Sanofi makes long acting Toujeo and Lantus.
Interestingly, Sanofi has said they’re gong to stop further work on type 2 diabetes and obesity drugs.
They also joined Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in dropping the price of insulin in the US.
Insulin pricing staying in the news as Senators Bernie Sanders and Cori Bush introduced legislation to cap the price at 20-dollars. They point out the recent prices cuts don’t apply to everyone and are still at the whim of the manufacturers.
California signs up with Civica Rx to produce its own insulin and sell it at an affordable price. The $50 million investment will allow California to produce insulin to be sold at prices capped at $30 per vial and $55 for a box of five prefilled pens, Civica Rx said (PDF) in a release. The agreement is part of the state’s CalRx Biosimilar Insulin Initiative.
Utah-based Civica Rx is a nonprofit, social welfare manufacturer of generic drugs. This is a long way off.. Civica Rx still needs to gain approval for its biosimilar versions of Sanofi’s Lantus (gargline), Eli Lilly’s Humalog (lispro) and Novo Nordisk’s Novolog (aspart).
The cost of insulin would be same for all patients regardless of their insurance situation
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Millions of Americans with diabetes have cheered as drugmakers slashed the price of insulin, the lifesaving medication that treats the chronic disease.

But those lower prices, which came amid government pressure to cap insulin costs and more competition from generics and biosimilars, are only one part of the cost of treating the disease, which causes elevated blood sugar that can damage the heart, eyes and kidneys if untreated.

Over-the-counter medical supplies to monitor glucose levels and administer medications can make up the largest portion of a patient’s costs. A 2020 JAMA Internal Medicine report found that children and adults with private health insurance spent more out-of-pocket on diabetes-related supplies than on insulin A person with diabetes who uses insulin typically spends $4,882 a year on treatment if they have insurance. Of that, $3,992 is spent on supplies, according to an analysis by GoodRx, or more than 80% of the annual expense of managing the disease
New trial of a technique to slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. It’s a simple outpatient surgery conducted in the early stages of diagnosis.
The procedure targets the doo-oh-DEE-num duodenum, the first section of the small intestine just past the stomach. This organ plays a key role in digestion, including regulating insulin and blood glucose levels. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the cells that line the duodenum have become damaged, and the trial’s hypothesis is that removing these cells helps healthy ones to grow back, improving the regulation of blood glucose levels.

Patients in the clinical trial would undergo an endoscopy to insert a device into the doo-oh-DEE-num duodenum, which removes those dysfunctional cells with a series of electrical pulses. The procedure itself is only minimally invasive – it takes about an hour, it’s conducted under a general anaesthetic and the patient is discharged the same day.
Early results seem encouraging. Patients who have undergone the procedure in recent months have already seen their blood glucose levels drop. BTW if you live near L-A they’re still recruiting for this. You have to have a type 2 diagnosis and not yet need insulin injections.
Another study showing automated insulin delivery systems work well and are safe, this one the Tandem Control IQ in little kids. That’s only approved right now for kids as young as six.. this study looked at children ages two to six. The hybrid closed-loop system added an average of about 3 hours in ideal blood glucose range over the 13 weeks, compared to no change with standard care.
Standard care here meant either an insulin pump or multiple daily injections plus a separate Dexcom G6 CGM.

Follow up! Two years ago we told you about Ethan Orr, a Colorado high school swimmer disqualified at a state meet because of the tape over his CGM. Orr’s family filed a complaint with the department of justice and the US Attorney in Colorado took up the case. They weren’t seeking any financial damages, just a change in policy, which they got. The changes include allowing medical tape with documentation, a way to evaluate requests from students with disabilities who might need reasonable modifications of rules, and a way for refs or coaches to seek on the spot reasonable modifications.

“I knew I’d have to fight my disease to swim, but I never imagined I’d have to fight discrimination to swim,” Ethan said, according to the news release from the law firm.
Athletic Greens
Today, JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, presented the inaugural Mary Tyler Moore Awards to three women leaders in Congress who have been instrumental in the fight against T1D. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, were honored alongside Representative Diane DeGette (D-CO), co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, for their longstanding support of the T1D community. The ceremony, held during JDRF’s annual Government Day, honored the legacy of screen icon Mary Tyler Moore, who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 33. As international chairman of JDRF from 1984 to 2017, Moore used her influence to bring government, scientists and people living with diabetes together to further T1D advocacy and innovation.

One of Moore’s most significant achievements as JDRF international chairman was increased Congressional funding for the Special Diabetes Program at the National Institutes of Health that has accelerated the pace of type 1 diabetes research. This long-term investment in diabetes research has led to significant scientific breakthroughs including Tzield, the first disease modifying treatment for T1D which can delay the onset of the disease by over two years. JDRF Government Day volunteers, more than 175 T1D advocates from across the country, will encourage members of Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Program when they visit lawmakers later today on Capitol Hill.
On the podcast next week..
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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