It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: The US Senate grills insulin makers about keeping the price where it is, two studies look at the impact of faster-acting insulins, a new study looks out temperature and insulin storage, researchers examine CGM access and health outcomes, 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 Moms Night Out – Treat yourself to some time away with other moms who get it. Our next stops this fall in Providence, RI and Frisco TX.
Our top story this week, big Senate hearing on insulin.. The three insulin makers recently cut their list prices by around 70%. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions pressed industry leaders and all three – Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi – committed to “keeping their drugs affordable,”
But asked whether the companies would no longer raise prices on their existing insulins, only Lilly sai yes. The Sanofi and Novo Nordisk chiefs did not.
Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, called PBMs “the fox guarding the henhouse,” going after the executives for essentially “rebating themselves.” He said the situation “isn’t working for America.”
“This committee is going to stay on this issue,” Senator Bernie Sanders said Wednesday. “We need profound change in the industry and in PBMs.”
Not a big difference between fast-acting insulin aspart and standard insulin. New study using hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system found that faster acting Fiasp did not offer any additional glycemic benefits compared with standard insulin aspart – Novolog – and participants had more cases of hyperglycemia with ketosis with the Fiasp.
The study cohort had a baseline HbA1c of 7.2% and a time in range of 63.9% at the start of the trial. Of the cohort, 76% was using a hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system at enrollment.
There were no cases of severe hypoglycemia or DKA during either intervention.
On the other hand, people with type 2 diabetes saw more time in range with faster acting insulin. These were adults with type 2 on basal bolus MDI along with CGM. The insulins here with Lyumjev and humalog.
New study confirming that insulin doesn’t have to be refrigerated as strictly at package instructions. These researchers took 6 different bands and types of insulins and stored them – quote – unopened for 1–4 months in non-refrigerated conditions in a real-world setting during the summer in India, all compared with control samples of each insulin, which remained refrigerated.
Insulin vials were stored in watertight bags. Bags were placed in either an open plastic container stored on a high shelf or in a cupboard, or in clay pots with a separate water compartment. All storage containers were placed in shaded areas The temperature was measured every 15 min by electronic data loggers. The mean maximum temperatures were between 86 and 94 degrees. Most of the insulin stayed fine for two months and much of it for four months. Every study I talk about is linked up at this episode’s homepage at d-c dot com with more specifics.
Not so shocking conclusion that increasing access to CGMs – regardless of ethnicity and insurance status – can improve outcomes.
Despite higher rates of complications among T1D youths from lower-income backgrounds, diabetes technology is 50% lower among this group. Youths with public insurance have frequent interruptions to CGM access, which are associated with worsening HbA1C trends. Implicit biases and willingness to recommend diabetes technology to youths from underrepresented backgrounds are likely additional contributors to these disparities, according to authors.
Authors concluded the results demonstrated in the study suggest equitable access to CGM soon after T1D diagnosis could be a first step to improve HbA1C for all youths, but acknowledge this access alone is, “unlikely to eliminate disparities entirely.” The authors add broader societal strategies to address structural drivers of disparities in diabetes care are required.
Interesting reminder that the seemingly obvious answer isn’t always the right one comes from cataract research..
Cataracts—the clouding of the lens of the eye—are the number one cause of blindness worldwide and are a common complication of type 2 diabetes. The current hypothesis behind diabetic cataract development is coined “the sugar hypothesis” and suggests that high blood sugar—a hallmark of diabetes—precedes cataract development. The working assumptions underlying the sugar hypothesis describe higher levels of glucose in the lenses of people with diabetes convert to a sugar alcohol molecule called sorbitol, which induces structural changes to the lens of the eye that precede cataract development. While unproven, researchers rarely investigate this theory further due to cataracts’ treatable nature.
Now, after some animal studies, it looks like the damage actually starts
before blood glucose rises above normal. The reseahres say it’s still too early to tell what’s going on but they hope ore study will bring the medical community a step closer to understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying the origins of diabetic complications during the pre-diabetic stage of the disease. Then, they say, they can search for ways to better prevent them.
Sweet Deception: “Sugar Hypothesis” of Diabetic Cataract Development Gets an Eye-Opening Reality Check
Very large study shows that GLP1 receptor agonists—a class of diabetes medications that include Trulicy and Ozempic —are associated with fewer major adverse cardiovascular events than another type of diabetes drug older veterans with no prior heart disease. The second drug type is DPP4 inhibitors with brand names like Januvia and Nesina.
Apparently, the clinical trials showing cardiovascular benefits for these drugs were conducted in people who already had heart disease, so these researchers wanted to see if it would help those who did not. 100-thousand US veterans were included in this study.
The median patient age was 67 years, and the median diabetes duration was 8.5 years. The researchers included variables such as age, sex, race, body mass index, blood pressure, laboratory values like hemoglobin A1c, and history of prior illnesses in the statistical analysis.
Ascensia expands it’s Eversense PASS, a Payment Assistance and Simple Savings program designed to enhance affordability and access to the Eversense E3 CGM System. Under the new and improved program, more people with diabetes will be eligible for assistance paying for the system, which now includes increased savings for eligible first time users.
Eligibility for the program has now been extended to all commercially insured people with diabetes across the country, including those who do not have coverage for the Eversense E3 system from their insurance provider.
Eversense is an implanted CGM that lasts six months and has a removable smart transmitter.
Right back to the news, but first, I want to tell you about Moms Night Out! In the 16+ years since my son was diagnosed with type 1, I have attended dozens of diabetes conferences and events. Now I’ve taken the best elements from those events and created a brand new experience. We’re going to have lots of diabetes technology for you to see and learn about, stress-relieving social time where you can meet other moms just like you, and speakers who will leave you feeling energized and ready to face the challenges of parenting a child with T1D. We had the first of these in January – I didn’t realize it was the first I actually expect it to be a one and done – but it went to so well and the reaction was so good from moms around the country that I deided to keep going. Our next stops are Frisco TX and Providence RI, back to Charlotte in Feb and more cities to come in 2024. Join us – check out the very top of diabetes-connections dot com or click on the event tab.
Garmin today announced expanded region availability of the Dexcom Connect IQ apps. Available for a wide range of Garmin smartwatches, the Dexcom Connect IQ app3 provides people with diabetes with a secondary way to view their glucose levels, right from their wrist.
Connect IQ is the app platform for Garmin wearables, bike computers, and outdoor handhelds
On the podcast next week.. Neil Greathouse is a familiar face on social media – posting every day as “The Betes.” I’ll catch up with Neil to talk about what motivated this every day connection – he has a real job not in diabetes – and more. Last week I spoke with The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s Austin Basis about managing T1D on set and off.
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.