BY LARESSA BETHISHOU, PHARMD, BCPS: Diabetes is one of the most common and costly chronic diseases, affecting more than 30 million Americans, with a total annual cost of $245 billion.
Prevalence continues to increase as obesity rises, with the highest rates of diabetes found in minorities and older Americans. Consequences of diabetes include hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and blindness. Despite significant medical advancement in treatment, diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. As a result, health care providers must consider the impact of financial and educational barriers in outcomes associated with diabetic management.
Diabetes is associated with a significant financial burden both to the patient and to the health care system. In 2012, the estimated cost of direct medical care in diabetes was $176 billion. The cost of prescription medications accounted for 18% of that cost, while diabetic supplies accounted for 12%. (read more)
BY RONI CARYN RABAN:
Q. How do people die from diabetes?
A. People who have diabetes cannot regulate their blood sugar levels and if the disease isn’t tightly controlled, blood sugar can spike to abnormally high levels, a condition called hyperglycemia, or dip below normal, a condition called hypoglycemia. Both conditions are potentially life-threatening and can lead to coma and death if not promptly treated.
But complications resulting from the disease are a more common cause of death. Heart disease strikes people with diabetes at significantly higher rates than people without diabetes, “and we don’t fully know why,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. People with diabetes develop heart disease at younger ages and are nearly twice as likely to die of heart attack or stroke as people who do not have diabetes. (read more)
BY MIRIAM E TUCKER: A major insulin-pump manufacturer has withdrawn from the US and Canadian markets, while another is experiencing supply and reimbursement problems.
While technology certainly represents the new frontier in diabetes management and there is much positive news, such as the recent US approval of Abbott’s novel FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, the field is not without its setbacks.
This latest involves the departure of Animas Corporation (a division of Johnson & Johnson) from the North American insulin-pump market, with the firm directing their 90,000 customers over to Medtronic.
At the same time, Medtronic itself is experiencing a supply problem, preventing shipment of the sensor component of its hybrid closed-loop 670G insulin-delivery system (dubbed the first “artificial pancreas”) to new customers, as well as a major insurer’s refusal to cover the system. (read more)
BY GINGER VIERIA: More than one-third of the United States’ population qualifies as “obese.”
That means the pursuit for a pharmaceutical weight loss drug has only become more intense.
And there’s some encouraging news on this front.
A recently published study from the Mayo Clinic reports that a pharmaceutical weight loss drug already exists and has proven to be effective, even in those who are obese.
Liraglutide is a prescription medication that is self-administered via injection once per day. It was originally created to treat type 2 diabetes under the brand name Victoza, manufactured by Novo Nordisk. (read more)
BY NATASHA TETLOW, PHD: Approximately 90% of all diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes. Although lifestyle factors such as hypertension, diet and excess weight can increase risk, this condition can also be passed down through families. A recent French study published in Diabetic Medicine looked at whether a family history of type 2 diabetes is associated with incident type 2 diabetes in a cohort of 1,996 men and 2,093 women, in France. (read more)