ADA PostGrad Sessions

Pg06logo_web Yet another academic diabetes event, the ADA’s annual “PostGraduate Sessions” was on this weekend in San Francisco. So I just had to go. Besides promising to cover selected material for the Diabetes Monitor, my own curiosity about this disease and the research around it wouldn’t let me skip such an opportunity to eavesdrop on the brains behind the treatment right here in my own home town. Compared to the big annual ADA Conference, this one’s a micro-event, with just a few doctors presenting simultaneously (vs. dozens), and a front hall reception area featuring just three or four tables hosted by pharma companies.

On Saturday I caught a rousing debate about whether/when Type 2 diabetics should be started on insulin. The upshot of this was that insulin can indeed improve overall health, but “the roadblock is the delivery mechanism”; it’’s going to be a bitch to get these people on insulin as long as they have to inject it with needles. Cross your fingers for inhalable insulin to go mainstream. More on this whole issue at Diabetes Monitor today.

I also visited with the BD folks, who generously gave me one of their SafeClip needle clipping devices to try. What a cool little gadget! It’s not much bigger than your average lancing device, and does an excellent job of snipping and storing the sharp part of “sharps.” I can’t believe I hadn’t bothered to get one sooner, despite writing extensively about sharps disposal.

Surprisingly, one of the companies on-site was Home Diagnostics, whose Trackease and new Sidekick meters are on sale at Walgreens, Safeway, Longs Drug and other major chain stores. They gave me a coupon for a free trial of the disposable Sidekick, which I’ve also written about but never seen in person. The top was a bit chunkier than I imagined. But overall, it was pretty darn cute. Can’t wait to get one.

Finally, there was the out-of-body experience part: as I sat in the back of the crowded lecture hall, who should walk in, look startled, and then wave at me? Who is that? Ah, my very own CDE. Here we are learning together! And later, at lunch, as I was enjoying the downtown San Francisco sunshine, who should walk by, look startled, and then nod hello to me? My very own endocrinologist! She wasn’t there for the conference, however. Just shopping. Apparently she lives nearby.

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7 Responses

  1. Millie
    Millie February 13, 2006 at 7:53 am | | Reply

    I purchased one of the Sidekicks from my local drug store. I have found that every time I checked it at the same time as my regular One Touch UltraSmart meter that the Sidekick was higher.
    But it is still convenient to have in my desk drawer at work for when I feel I need to check my BG.

  2. Rachel
    Rachel February 13, 2006 at 10:25 am | | Reply

    Thank you for your mention of the insulin/type 2 debate. Very interesting…

  3. The Dogfather
    The Dogfather February 13, 2006 at 11:14 am | | Reply

    I too found the Type 2 insulin debate interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Needles don’t frighten me, and taking a single shot at bedtime doesn’t sound that terrible. Nor would it bother me to be on insulin from the standpoint of a “last resort”. I think of all the Type 1′s I’ve heard about who live long lives on insulin. The only two things that worry me about it are possible hypoglycemic events while I’m asleep, and possible weight gain. If one already suffers from insulin resistance then it stands to reason that insulin therapy will certainly result in weight gain. I’m just now enjoying the results of losing 35 pounds. Perhaps I would be more willing to try it when I’ve lost another 50 pounds.

  4. Johnboy
    Johnboy February 13, 2006 at 2:14 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for the tip on the BD Safeclip. I think I will spring for one.

    As for the Sidekick, while not as good as “free,” I notices this was on sale this week at Walgreens for 29.99. I have no idea how good a deal this is.

  5. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk February 13, 2006 at 5:59 pm | | Reply

    Are you able to get into this conference at no or little charge? I’ve always wanted to go to one, but I’m not a “professional,” and the entry fees seem quite steep (I could buy a lot of test strips/insulin with that fee)!

  6. Zazzy
    Zazzy February 13, 2006 at 8:56 pm | | Reply

    There are certainly pros and cons of insulin but I think fear of needles has got to be the least of the concerns. If cost is a concern, and it is, inhalable insulin is hardly the answer.

    I’m a little concerned about the apparent profiling of type 2s and the attitude about “these people.” It’s sad that the article only sites poor and uneducated people. While there are risks groups among the poor, stereotyping type 2s as poor and uneducated is not likely to break down barriers in my opinion.

  7. AmyT
    AmyT February 14, 2006 at 8:54 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    To Jason: yes, I attended this and other conferences as press. Entrance fees are quite steep indeed, and to be truthful, most of the session content is highly scientfic and therefore of little immediate use to us patient types :)

    To Zazzy: apologies if the term “these people” came across as derogatory. This particular talk happened to focus on the many, many people in low socio-economic situations who could benefit from insulin, but are not likely to do so based on the factors described. Naturally, there are millions more Type 2s who do not fall into this category.

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