insulin

medicine

New Game Changers In Medicine Episode About The Discovery Of Insulin Premieres On World Diabetes Day, November 14

NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Game Changers in Medicine, the new monthly podcast from Dramatic Health, premieres its fifth  episode Insulin: The lucky coin toss and improbable partnership that led to this life-saving elixir on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2020. Insulin was discovered almost 100 years ago and has been saving the lives of patients with diabetes ever since. Currently, more than 460 million people worldwide suffer from some form of diabetes. Produced by Dramatic Health co-founder and CEO Sean T. Moloney, the series is hosted by renowned medical futurist Dr. Rubin Pillay of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

For details on the podcast series, visit www.gamechangersinmedicine.com 

The Dramatic Health and Game Changers in Medicine teams have gathered a distinguished group of experts to discuss the science and serendipity behind the discovery of insulin, and to offer their perspectives on the ongoing search for a cure for diabetes. Participants in Insulin: The lucky coin toss and improbable partnership that led to this life-saving elixir include:  Jay S. Skyler, MD, MACP is currently a Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, & Psychology, in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. He served as Director of that division from 2000 to 2004. He is Deputy Director of Clinical Research and Academic Programs at the Diabetes Research Institute. Grant Maltman, curator of the Banting House National Historic Site of Canada, in London, Ontario, coordinates cultural resource management and heritage presentation at Banting House–the birthplace of insulin. Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, CDE is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and certified diabetes educator (CDE) who has successfully managed her own Type 1 diabetes for more than 45 years.

According to Executive Producer Sean Moloney, “We have an abundance of material, including an interview with Dr. H. Franklin Bunn, the hematologist at Harvard Medical School, who co-discovered the hemoglobin A1c, a major diagnostic indicator of prediabetes and diabetes.  Dr. Bunn appeared in the premiere episode of Game Changers in Medicine last July.” A bonus episode of “Insulin: The lucky coin toss and improbable partnership that led to this life-saving elixir will be released at the end of November. 

Dramatic Health, a national healthcare video company, is the producer of the six-part podcast series Game Changers in Medicine. Previous episodes have included: the premiere podcast about Vitamin K and an enterprising Boston house doctor; the creation of a smallpox vaccine and its parallels to today’s urgent search for a COVID-19 vaccine; the history of the blood thinner warfarin, a rat poison turned game-changer in cardiology, and the development of the X-ray.  All episodes, a series backgrounder, and additional material about the podcast series are available at  www.gamechangersinmedicine.com and can be accessed wherever you find your podcasts.

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Contact: Mark G. Auerbach. [email protected]

For additional details on the episode participants:
Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

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health

Trump, Tillis Weakness on Insulin Price Tags

During the first presidential debate of 2020, President Donald Trump touted his efforts to curb skyrocketing drug prices and declared that insulin is now “so cheap, it’s like water.” The response on social media was swift, and divided, with some people sharing pharmacy bills showing thousands of dollars they’d spent on insulin, while others boasted of newfound savings.

The next day, a self-described progressive political action committee called Change Now jumped into the fray by releasing an ad that circulated on Facebook attacking Trump and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on this issue.

In the 30-second ad, a North Carolina woman in her 30s explains she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4.

“Donald Trump and Thom Tillis opposed legislation that would lower the price of insulin and other prescription drugs,” she says. “People with diabetes can’t afford to wait for Trump and Tillis to fight for us. … We need affordable insulin now.”

(Posts sharing the quote were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed. Read more about PolitiFact’s partnership with Facebook.)

In recent years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have committed to addressing the cost of insulin. This election cycle — coinciding with a looming threat to the Affordable Care Act and millions of people losing jobs and employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic — the high price of prescription drugs has gained new significance.

Tillis is in one of the most heated Senate races in the country and has been repeatedly criticized by his opponent for receiving more than $400,000 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health product industries. Across the country, many voters say lowering prescription drug costs should be the top health priority for elected officials.

So, did Trump and Tillis really oppose policies that would accomplish that goal? We decided to take a closer look.

It turns out they’ve both opposed certain pieces of legislation that could have lowered the price of insulin and other prescription drugs, but they’ve also offered alternatives. The question is how aggressive those alternatives are and how many Americans would benefit from them.

Opposing the Strongest Reforms

Change Now pointed to two congressional bills to support the ad’s claim: one opposed by Trump, and the other by Tillis.

The first bill, known as H.R. 3, passed the House in December 2019, largely due to Democratic votes. It contains three main elements: decreasing out-of-pocket costs for people on Medicare, penalizing pharmaceutical companies that raise the price of drugs faster than the rate of inflation and — the most aggressive and controversial feature — allowing the federal government, which administers Medicare, to negotiate the price of certain drugs, including insulin. It also requires manufacturers to offer those agreed-on prices to private insurers, extending the benefits to a wider swath of Americans.

Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, called it “the broadest-reaching policy that has been put forward” on drug pricing.

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health

Experimental therapy could remove need for insulin

Scientists have proposed a new therapy for type 2 diabetes. If proven effective, the therapy could help some people discontinue insulin treatment.

Scientists have proposed a new therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, with a proof-of-concept study showing positive initial results. If effective, the therapy may mean that some people can stop taking insulin treatment.

The authors of the research presented their findings at UEG Week Virtual 2020, a conference organized by United European Gastroenterology, a professional nonprofit organization for specialists in digestive health.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a person may have type 2 diabetes when their blood sugar is too high.

People gain blood sugar, or blood glucose, mainly from the food they eat. Insulin helps cells access this glucose to use as energy. However, for a person with type 2 diabetes, either their body does not make enough insulin or their cells do not respond to insulin correctly.

This then means that the glucose in their blood increases, which can lead to complications of diabetes, such as heart and kidney disease, visual impairment, and loss of sensation in the limbs. The higher the blood glucose over time, the higher the risk of these complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 adults in the United States have diabetes, and 90–95% of these individuals have type 2 diabetes.

Doctors typically recommend lifestyle changes, such as being more physically active and eating a more healthful diet, to treat type 2 diabetes, as well as medications to manage a person’s blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Insulin treatment may be necessary if a person is unable to maintain their blood sugar at normal levels. This treatment can take the form of injections, pens, pumps, or inhalers. It encourages the cells in a person’s body to absorb more blood sugar.

However, people’s perception of the side effects of insulin treatment can be quite pronounced. As a result, doctors may be less likely to prescribe insulin, and, when they do, people may not take it regularly.

Consequently, therapies that can avoid these perceived side effects may be valuable in ensuring that people keep up with their prescribed treatment and avoid risking serious health issues.

In this context, the researchers behind the present study used a novel technique that scientists first reported using in humans in 2016. Based on those preliminary results, it seemed promising.

The technique is called duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR). The duodenum is the first part of a person’s small intestine. DMR involves lifting the mucosal layer of the duodenal to allow the ablation of the revealed area using heated water — a process that removes the cells in the targeted area.

The researchers who developed the DMR technique were trying to replicate the positive impact that bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) has on blood sugar levels with a less invasive technique.

Studies of how bariatric surgery improves blood sugar control have concluded that there

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