7 Responses

  1. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter May 18, 2013 at 11:37 am | | Reply

    Link for “here” doesn’t work.

    Interesting article today.

    I flinch at discussions of cost. They make me want to ask whether I am a greater liability than an asset and they make me so cussed I want to keep living several more decades.
    However, for all the Chicken Littles, if this looming catastrophe is real, maybe it’s time to stop running around hysterically looking for someone to blame and time to look at the science and the data. Maybe diabetes is just part of what is, like non-Aryans, or people who wear glasses, part of the infinite variety of humanity. Maybe no one is perfect and we all have to deal with our differing brokennesses by figuring out what doesn’t work well and trying to make it work better, without blame or shame.

  2. David Teertstra
    David Teertstra May 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm | | Reply

    The 2013 diabetes health-care costs are on track to reach $13 billion in Canada. Prevention and cure researchers here work on one tenth of one percent of that. So the money is in shelling out insulin as a band-aid. Here, only a few researchers are working and funding only goes to short-term projects along well-established lines of thought. The miracle of the discovery of insulin was that Banting actually got a chance to try out his idea.
    I also do not see evidence for a cover-up. Researchers and doctors I know are honestly doing the best they can do. I am personally doing what I can do. Specifically, no one knows how the insulin molecule forms or interacts. The problem involves deep understanding of bonding, atomic motion, force, thermodynamics, structure, quantum theory …bond valence, crystallography, diffraction, refraction, optics. technology. So this is a major problem holding back medicine and science in general.
    OK, so a B/Sc. M.Sc. Ph.D.Postdoc with work in industrial optics and instrument building then needs a decade to really solve the problem (e.g. Einstein took 10 years for general relativity), but such in-depth studies are not supported in modern culture. Instead, this major problem must be solved by enduring an intensity of financial hardship that is beyond the imagination of most everyone in industrialized nations.
    So do not imagine for a second that there are not people using all their will, intellect and drive to find real solutions.
    Dr. David K. Teertstra, see also The Insulin Project film on Indiegogo

    1. David Teertstra
      David Teertstra May 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm | | Reply

      That much money is being spent because people care. Diabetes has become a major problem only because many of the other life-threatening diseases have been cured. Diabetes would be a leading cause of death were it not for the discovery of insulin. But part of the problem is factory food which has been stripped of nutrient needed for cellular function and to build essential molecules. Sugar has been added for profit but not for health, despite being recognized as a direct cause of this sugar disease that develops over time. The fact is, the average life expectancy has been increased by almost 25 years over this past century and the diseases that take time to develop appear. We must fight for our health!

  3. Dan
    Dan May 19, 2013 at 12:05 am | | Reply

    There might not be a conspiracy to cover or protect a cure for diabetes. However, there is a conspiracy to continue to treat the disease in the simplest manner possible, but charging a fortune to do so. There is no doubt that the manner in which diabetics have to test and monitor their blood sugars is ridiculous. The best we have is a CGM. The best CGM on the market is Dexcom’s latest. However, this device will never get us to where we need to be because it is too inaccurate and tests sugar from the fluid under your skin, not blood directly. If anyone doubts its inaccuracy, I challenge you to test your blood and make sure the CGM is pretty close to your blood test strip reading. Once the two jive, then go and jog for about 30 minutes. Then test your CGM recoding against a blood stick meter. You will be amazed at how inaccurate the CGM reading really is. The CGM technology we have now is terribly inaccurate. And guess what, millions of dollars are being spent using the CGM technology we have now to try to close the loop. Do you think that is really going to happen? Of course not, but many people are making money playing the closed loop game. And prove my point, most of these operations trying to close the loop are attaching two CGMs. Why? Because they know they are not reliable. Us diabetics will end up wearing 4 CGM sensors by the time they are done. And even then, the loop will not be closed.
    So, there is a conspiracy in the realm of innovation. By now, we should have something much more accurate than today’s CGM technology.
    But since so much money is wasted on all sorts of other crap labeled diabetes care, Dexcom and their limited budget is the only player out there. No one else wants to use big bucks to finally develop a smart CGM technology. It is much easier to make a blood test strip and sell it at a high price than to develop a CGM technology that would essentially end up not being able to reap in the profits now made by these pharmaceutical companies. So, I do not blame Dexcom. At least they are out there trying to do something. However, Dexcom is a little outfit. They need more support. The Federal Government should be using research money supporting companies like Dexcom advance this CGM technology instead of plowing it into other areas. All the money spent on research has not gotten us very far. We are all shooting up with syringes, or carrying a syringe attached to us that people like to call a pump, taking pills, and testing our blood by pricking and squeezing, as well as the CGM stuff we now have. That is basically the diabetes tool kit.
    Here is another example of lack of innovation—medicine. All the medicines out there, especially for type 2 diabetes, are really subpar attempts to replace metformin. Since metformin is generic, the pharmaceutical industry has to create alternatives. However, metformin is the gold standard in regards to safety and the intended need of the drug—stopping the liver from dumping glucose or at least better regulating the process and improving sensitivity to insulin. However, now we have drugs like Byette and Symlin, and all the other pills being marked for type 2 diabetes, doing the same thing. However, metformin is much better doing what it needs to do.
    This how good metformin is: I challenge all type 1 diabetics to try metformin (of course, talk to your doctor first). You will find, once your reach your correct dose, that metformin will allow you to control your diabetes like no other drug, except insulin of course, over time. The highs will disappear quickly. Your body will be so much more sensitive to insulin. You will require much less insulin (and that is a good thing in regards to cancer prevention). I am type 1 and metformin has changed my life. And yes, I tried Symlin as well. Metformin is amazing. Symlin was not!
    Here is an interesting link on metformin:

    But back to the point, innovation is the real conspiracy—the lack thereof.

  4. John
    John May 19, 2013 at 7:19 am | | Reply

    Type 1 diabetes is an ancient disease with causes unknown to us. I myself waver between believing in a conspiracy or not. What I do believe is that funding by groups like the JDRF are not focused enough on a cure and therefore have a diluted impact.

    Not to mention, I’m not aware of any inflammatory disease being cured, maybe only a vaccine?

    I think our healthcare system and the way we approach medicine is a band-aid approach because that keeps the money train moving and it’s a much quicker win from a business model perspective and requires less financial risk.

    Islet cell transplants began in 1997 and yet we are no further along. Supply is still an issue. Why? To me, the reasons we hear are not good enough.

    There may be a lot of dedicated smart people working on a cure but the truth is the technology and brain power isn’t there yet and won’t be for quite sometime.

    Sub-q insulin injection is a band aid and there must be a better delivery system. Insulin pumps are ok but not the answer.

  5. Mike Barry
    Mike Barry May 19, 2013 at 7:39 am | | Reply

    I don’t believe there’s a conspiracy since any marketable cure would still have a bottomless market as the genetic causes would still be present in the human genome, keeping the supply of customers.

    Re the question of comparing the US to the world, the TuAnalyze map @ contains some self-reported A1C data for a number of countries, individual US states, Canadian provinces, etc. It doesn’t seem to amalgamate the US data into a US “chunk” but it kind of gives a glimpse into a worldwide view that suggests we may have a very slight advantage, like a few tenths of a point of A1C.

  6. Amy A
    Amy A May 24, 2013 at 9:12 am | | Reply

    Very insightful article and comments. I really enjoyed reading everybody’s take on the ‘conspiracy’.

    For my viewpoint, I see a looooot of money being made on us. I see a lot of desperate people spending to comfort themselves, especially parents of CWDs.

    A recent example: Take a look at glucose gel at your local pharmacy. Mine sells three tubes for $12. Expensive, but I like the gel it works quickly, I will not likely choke on it if administered by a well intentioned but not quite mindful bystander, and the taste and texture is much better to me than tablets.

    The SAME gel is available as a sports energy product for $1 each (GU available at REI, Amazon, etc.). Now I have not chemically compared the two, but 25 g of fast acting carbs is pretty much the same to my thinking. Smack a D label on it, put it in the pharmacy and the price goes up by 400%.

    THAT is the cost conspiracy concern I remain hyper vigilant about. I will also be alert to the spending on band aids versus cures and true advances in our understanding of D.

    In my heart I believe that there are plenty of people earnestly searching, in an altruistic way, for a cure.

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