It’s that time again. Another year has passed, and one can’t help wondering: was there any significant progress made in the diabetes world? I guess if you only count “progess” as steps towards a cure, that’s a difficult question to answer. For what it’s worth, here’s my own list of milestone events that occurred this year:
♦ The ACCORD study results were announced, and interpreted to sound like tight blood glucose control might kill you – Yipes!
♦ The third commercial CGM product, the Abbott Navigator, was approved by the FDA and brought to market.
♦ A new “National Diabetes Goal“ was announced by the ADA: “By 2015, 45% of Americans who are at risk of getting diabetes will know their blood glucose level and know actions to take.” If you do the math, that translates to getting about 59 million people screened and educated (whew)
♦ The FDA “dissed insulin pumps“ by publishing a report that indicated that the pumps themselves were responsible for dangerous hypoglycemic events in young Type 1s — as if teens on shots didn’t have troubles, too. Sheesh.
♦ The JDRF spoke out strongly on the importance of improved diabetes device design: “We need smaller, easier, more convenient devices, and we’ve only begun to see these materialize. It’s a golden opportunity.”
♦ The New York Times confirms that as diseases go, diabetes “don’t get no respect.”
♦ The grassroots diabetes patient community campaign for health plan coverage of CGMS began!
♦ Consumers Union and Consumer Reports Health confirm that the state of healthcare coverage in this country is atrocious.
♦ Pres. Bush signed the Amendment to the American Disabilities Act into law, providing important protection against discrimination for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions.
♦ The communications folks for high fructose corn syrup set a new standard for deceptive advertising – how low can you go?
♦ The Byetta pancreatitis scare caused ripples throughout the diabetes drug industry.
♦ J&J Diabetes Institute launched a sweeping initiative to identify best practices in diabetes treatment and care, and spread them around the world, aka Diabetes HOW? (how about more help here at home?)
♦ Proof that social networking for diabetics is where it’s at: the JDRF launched its very own social networking community, Juvenation. Meanwhile, my new community, DiabeticConnect, garnered over 13,000 members in its first five months.
♦ We got a new president, of course!
♦ We heard news of one of the most exciting innovations in diabetes care yet: could Smart Insulin be on the horizon?
♦ Grassroots health campaigns get turbo-charged. See the folks who want to Cure CVS, for example.
All in all, an interesting year — if not one that saw much of what we could call “significant progress.” The coming year, however, with our country being led by a new administration, promises to bring bigger and better changes in health and medicine. Amen!