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Diabetes, Government & Policy Article Archives

November 2012

President's Win Is Reprieve For 'Obamacare'

President Barack Obama’s victory cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly unhealthy, aging population.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 8, 2012

May 2012

USDA Food Recalls Update

When it comes to diabetes management, food is probably the most important component. What we eat affects our blood sugar levels, nutrition, weight, and feelings of satisfaction and well being.

But as careful as we are about our food choices, sometimes the people who supply that food are not as careful. Fortunately, government agencies like the US Department of Agriculture help protect us by issuing recalls and warnings about foods and food suppliers that fail to meet minimum sanitary and health standards.

comments 1 comment - Posted May 31, 2012

February 2011

Government Recoups Record $4 Billion from Healthcare Defrauders

During 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General's office recovered $4 billion related to healthcare fraud. According to the HHS press release, this record sum was due to "President Obama making the elimination of fraud, waste, and abuse a top priority in his administration" and the 2009 creation of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). They will do even better in the future, said the press release, "with the new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act."

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 9, 2011

Some Doctors Dispute Benefits Of Early Diagnosis

In a new book, "Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health," Dartmouth researchers and physicians H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin argue that the medical establishment's embrace of early diagnosis and treatment as the key to keeping people healthy actually does the opposite.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 8, 2011

January 2011

Front Labels on Food Packages Are Misleading

After the American Heart Association introduced its heart healthy logo in 1995, manufacturers apparently decided that such "healthy" logos were a pretty good marketing idea. Similar logos, called front-of-the-package labels, or FoP labels, have become popular with several food manufacturers, each of which has developed its own labels using its own criteria. Now, not surprisingly, a study by the Prevention Institute has found that these labels are misleading to customers. According to the Prevention Institute's executive director, Larry Cohen, they "emphasize one healthy aspect to trick [customers] into buying something fundamentally unhealthy." Dora the Explorer Fruit Shapes, for example, prominently labels itself as "gluten free," but does not mention the fact that 58 percent of its calories come from sugar.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 31, 2011

The Healthcare Bill: We're Confused, But Our Opinions Are Very Firm Nevertheless

As the new House of Representatives pumps itself up to repeal Obama's healthcare bill because it's "the will of the people," Kaiser has released survey results that probe the details of that will. When you dig a little deeper, it turns out, we might not really know what we are talking about.

comments 9 comments - Posted Jan 11, 2011

President Obama Signs Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Into Law

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 represents a major step forward in our nation's effort to provide all children with healthy food in schools. Increasingly schools are playing a central role in children's health. Over 31 million children receive meals through the school lunch program and many children receive most, if not all, of their meals at school. With over seventeen million children living in food insecure households and one out of every three children in America now considered overweight or obese, schools often are on the front lines of our national challenge to combat childhood obesity and improve children's overall health. This legislation includes significant improvements that will help provide children with healthier and more nutritious food options, educate children about making healthy food choices, and teach children healthy habits that can last a lifetime. 

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 4, 2011

December 2010

Traveling With a Pump: TSA Regulations

Most holiday stories are comforting and familiar, wrapped up with the happiest of endings. But the tales that swept the nation this Thanksgiving were sometimes distressing and strange, and the one told by Laura Seay has no resolution or simple solution. Seay was one of the travelers caught in the center of the debate over the Transportation Security Administration's forceful new screening methods.

comments 6 comments - Posted Dec 23, 2010

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is Introduced

Very recently, the Obama Administration announced some new initiatives with regard to the new healthcare law, in what could be one of the biggest and farthest-reaching benefits of the Affordable Care Act. The $10 billion, 10-year plan is being spearheaded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 18, 2010

JDRF Applauds Congress for Passage of $300 Million for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Thanks Supporters for Advocacy Efforts for Special Diabetes Program Renewal

"Congress passed a multi-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), ensuring that studies on promising diabetes treatments and avenues toward a cure continue uninterrupted. As the father of a son living with type 1 diabetes, and as CEO of JDRF, one of the leading advocates for the renewal of this program, I applaud the U.S. government for its continued commitment to end this disease.

comments 2 comments - Posted Dec 13, 2010

Holiday Travel Tips for People With Diabetes

"Don't leave home without it" has a whole new meaning this holiday season. With holiday travel up from last year and increased security- and consequent delays- at airports, it's more important than ever for those with diabetes to properly prepare for their holiday travel.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 10, 2010

Twenty Community-Based Organizations Across the United States Receive Awards to Encourage Seniors to Get Screened for Diabetes

Leaders of the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP) announced that twenty community-based organizations from 17 states were given awards of $2,500 each to be used to encourage seniors ages 65 and older who are covered under Medicare to get screened for diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 10, 2010

Health Law Cut Some Health Costs in Retirement, But Retirees Will Need Big Savings

WASHINGTON-Even though the new health reform law will reduce some health costs in retirement for many people, retirees will still need a significant amount of savings to cover their out-of-pocket health expenses when they retire, according to a report released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Women in particular will need more savings than men because they tend to live longer.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 2, 2010

November 2010

When Diabetes Steals Your Livelihood

Too often our preconceptions of work-limiting disabilities are confined to suddenly devastating conditions, such as spinal cord injury or stroke. We rarely consider how diseases such as diabetes can be just as debilitating and just as costly to a family. With November being recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month, we should remember the people who are unable to work due to the complications of diabetes and who need the benefits to which they are entitled under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

comments 4 comments - Posted Nov 30, 2010

Recession Weighs Heavily on People With Diabetes

The economic recession has hammered people with diabetes, according to a new survey. Many say that their health has been harmed by the crisis, and more expect their health to suffer in the future. What's more, most don't expect the government's health reform bill to improve their situation.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 28, 2010

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines Cut From 2011 Flexible Spending Accounts

Get ready for a major change to the way you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Staring in 2011, you won't be able to use your FSA to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications unless you have a prescription from your doctor.  By the year 2013, FSAs will also  be capped at $2,500, down from the $5,000 currently allowed under the program. These changes, which are the result of the Affordable Care Act, could have a significant impact on both the revenues of the federal government and your wallet.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 23, 2010

West vs. South: Regional Differences in Views of the Health Reform Law

In the wake of the November midterm election that resulted in a landslide victory for Republicans and a shift in party control of the House of Representatives, the debate about health reform continues to play out in Washington and in many states across the country. Republican lawmakers from many states have made public calls for repeal of or drastic changes to the law, and governors from several states have signed on to a lawsuit filed in Florida that challenges the law on constitutional grounds. The November Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds the public is still largely divided in their opinions of the law and what should happen next. In this Data Note, we examine how those opinions differ by region of the country.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 19, 2010

Flu Meeting Highlights the Latest in Flu Research

Scientists gathered in October to discuss a very timely topic- the flu. While influenza may not be the headline news that it was last year with the H1N1 epidemic, the flu is very much on the minds of many scientists and doctors nation- and world-wide.  The October gathering presented the newest research on the flu virus and attempts to vaccinate against it.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 19, 2010

Diabetes Association of Atlanta Caps Off Successful Diabetes University

Atlanta, Ga. -With more than 30 state and nationally-renowned speakers, 400 attendees and dozens of workshops and panels, the 17th Annual Diabetes University concluded Saturday as one of the largest in the Diabetes Association of Atlanta's history.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 17, 2010

Open Enrollment for 2011 Medicare prescription drug and health plans begins Nov. 15th

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging all Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the annual Open Enrollment period to make sure they have the best coverage available to meet their health care needs in 2011.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 16, 2010

JDRF Clinical Panel Recommends Next Steps for Artificial Pancreas Clinical Testing

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 10, 2010 --- Diabetes experts at a meeting convened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) took the next step in advancing efforts toward the development of an artificial pancreas: putting forth clinical recommendations to ensure the safe and effective testing of artificial pancreas technology in real-life situations. We are pleased at today's meeting there was a strong consensus among leading clinicians, researchers and industry leaders regarding the path toward outpatient studies for both low-glucose suspend and artificial pancreas systems. 

comments 5 comments - Posted Nov 10, 2010

Congressional Leaders to Discuss Healthcare Equity and Health Reform Bill at Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities

A group of congressional leaders is convening in Philadelphia from November 10 to November 13 to discuss an issue becoming more and more prevalent in the political and medical communities: access to healthcare services. This is an important topic in today's economic environment and one that has come to the attention of more people since the passage of the Affordable Care Act earlier this year.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 6, 2010

October 2010

Number of Americans With Diabetes Could Triple by 2050

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a startling new projection last week regarding diabetes:  As many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050. The announcement on Friday represents a dramatic threefold increase in the number of Americans expected to have diabetes within the next 40 years if current trends continue.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 29, 2010

Reducing Health Costs Through Lower Food Prices

Reducing the cost of low-carbohydrate foods for people with diabetes could significantly reduce medical costs associated with the disease that affects more than 23 million Americans, according to a recent study.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 20, 2010

Let's Move Campaign

Earlier this year, First Lady Michelle Obama announced an ambitious goal: to erase childhood obesity within a generation. If she is successful, the childhood obesity rate will be only 5 percent by 2030, down from the current rate of 32 percent. Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? Not according to her plan.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 13, 2010

Mobile Health Clinics Growing in Power and Relevance Nationwide

Imagine what it would be like to have access to basic medical care close to home or to see a trained professional without an appointment at little or no cost - even if you don't have health insurance.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 11, 2010

September 2010

How the New Health Care Law Impacts YOU!

San Francisco - Six months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, patients and families are beginning to reap rewards.  The nation's new health care law is now delivering protections and cost benefits; yet it will affect consumers differently, and that may cause confusion.  Understanding will contribute to its effective implementation and this will involve all ends of the spectrum.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 29, 2010

FDA Significantly Restricts Access to the Diabetes Drug Avandia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it will significantly restrict the use of the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) to patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their diabetes on other medications. These new restrictions are in response to data that suggest an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients treated with Avandia.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 23, 2010

NIHSeniorHealth Site Offers Tips on Creating a Family Health History

At your next family reunion or gathering, consider discussing a different type of family tree-the family health history. Find out how to collect, organize and use information about your family's health at Creating a Family Health History, the newest topic on the NIHSeniorHealth website. NIHSeniorHealth is a health and wellness website designed especially for older adults from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 23, 2010

Kids and Diabetes Risk: Do Chromosomes Hold New Clues?

Children who have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes might be identified earlier by way of tell-tale genetic indicators known as biomarkers. Some of those new biomarkers might be pinpointed in research led by Nancy F. Butte and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Institutes of Health.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 22, 2010

Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon Launch Global Nutrition Initiatives

NEW YORK (Sept. 21, 2010) - Millions of children's lives could be saved as a result of the long-awaited global focus on nutrition announced today, Save the Children said.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 21, 2010

Vietnam Vets, Agent Orange, and Type 2 Diabetes

Despite the lack of a strong link between type 2 diabetes and Agent Orange, the government is paying Vietnam veterans hundreds of millions of dollars for the disease on the basis of Agent Orange exposure.

comments 1 comment - Posted Sep 12, 2010

Even Before Recession, 14 Million Kids 'Underinsured'

Even prior to the onset of the economic recession in 2008, nearly one in four American parents with health insurance reported that their coverage was so inadequate they were unable to access the medical care their children needed.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 2, 2010

August 2010

Blocking Progress

On Monday, August 23rd, a federal court blocked federal funding of embryonic stem cell research; ruling that the Obama Administration's policy violates federal law.   

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 31, 2010

NIH Seeks to Break New Ground in Reducing Health Disparities

Doctors have long known that different populations have different risks for chronic illness. Certain ethnic groups, for instance, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others. But why? The National Institutes of Health aims to find out. It's Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health will take a broad look at factors that influence disease and aim to make positive changes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 25, 2010

Health Insurance Costs Rise Sharply For Unemployed As COBRA Subsidy Ends

Jennifer Richards of Park Ridge, Ill., is angry that her family's monthly health insurance bill tripled in August to $1,250 after her husband lost his job and health benefits. But as bad as that is, what really upsets her is the inaction of Congress.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 20, 2010

Cleveland Clinic: 2010 Medical Innovation Summit to Showcase Innovations in Treating Obesity and Diabetes

Cleveland Clinic has finalized the agenda for the 8th Annual Medical Innovation Summit, which will be held Nov. 1-3 on the Clinic's campus. The Summit draws 1,000 attendees each year, and includes panel discussions with some of the industry's top CEOs and thought leaders.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 18, 2010

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

The Long awaited Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010 (SS 3307) has passed the Senate, after a push by the ADA membership and other advocates, urging Senators to get the job done!  The Act, which passed the Senate unanimously, now moves to the House where it is expected to pass.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 9, 2010

Obesity Intervention Study Produces Mixed Results

The HEALTHY program, a three-year government-funded intervention in middle schools that was designed to lower overall rates of overweight and obesity among students, has produced mixed results.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 8, 2010

Health Leaders Announce Initiative Bringing Diverse Voices Together to Tackle Critical Healthcare Innovation Issues

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) - a coalition of chief executives representing all sectors of American healthcare - announced the formation of the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI), a forum in which leaders from private sector healthcare, government, academia and patient and consumer organizations can work toward consensus on the most important issues affecting healthcare innovation.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 6, 2010

July 2010

Explaining Health Care Reform: Key Changes to the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit Coverage Gap

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law (P.L. 111-148). The health care reform law, which incorporates changes made by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, makes several important changes to the Medicare Part D drug benefit to reduce Part D enrollees' out-of-pocket liability when they reach the coverage gap, known as the "doughnut hole."

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 29, 2010

New York Historical Society Brings to Life the Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin

NEW YORK, NY, July 26, 2010 - Recalling the desperate fight for life that used to be waged by juvenile diabetes patients, and commemorating the events of 1921 that inaugurated a new era of hope for them and their families, the New York Historical Society will present the exhibition Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin from October 5, 2010 through January 31, 2011. Exploring the roles of science, government, higher education and industry in developing and distributing a life-saving drug, the exhibition will bring to life the personalities who discovered insulin and raced to bring it to the world and will tell the story of one extraordinary New York girl-Elizabeth Evans Hughes, daughter of the leading statesman and jurist Charles Evans Hughes-who was among the very first patients to be saved.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 26, 2010

Type 2 Risk Information to Share with Your Friends and Loved Ones

Learn Your Risk for Diabetes and Take Steps to Protect Your Health. If you are diagnosed in the early stages of diabetes, you can take better care of yourself and get treatment. If you have pre-diabetes, you can take steps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 23, 2010

FDA Freezes Long-Term Study on Diabetes Drug Avandia

A long-term study on the safety of a popular diabetes drug was put on hold Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, while the FDA considers whether it's too dangerous to continue.  Several large studies have linked the drug, Avandia, to a higher risk of heart attacks and other heart problems. While other studies have not found the same risk, last week an FDA advisory panel recommended that the drug not be sold without a stronger warning label or possibly limits on who could receive it.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 23, 2010

U.S. Advisers Reject Vivus' Fat Pill

(Reuters) - The first new prescription weight-loss pill in more than a decade failed to win backing from advisers, who said safety concerns about the drug outweighed its ability to help obese patients shed pounds.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 19, 2010

Pre-Diabetes: Using Diabetes Self-Management Education/Training to Prevent Diabetes Onset

Overview: 57 million Americans are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) level is above normal but below a level that indicates diabetes. Pre-diabetes may have no outward symptoms, and is diagnosed with a blood glucose test.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 16, 2010

Avandia and the FDA Panel: Scientific Leaders Urge Diabetes Patients to Talk with their Doctor before Making Changes to their Medication Use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Joint Meeting of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee has completed their evaluation of the scientific research available on the safety of rosiglitazone. The deliberations of the panel reflected the complexity of the issues, with several members voting to add additional warnings or to withdraw the drug from the U.S. market. Ultimately, the final recommendation was to allow Avandia to remain on the market. Now that the expert panel has concluded its meeting, the FDA will review their recommendations and make the final decision on whether the drug remains available to patients.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 15, 2010

HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces New Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that will offer coverage to uninsured Americans who have been unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. 

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 12, 2010

More from ACCORD

In people with longstanding type 2 diabetes who are at high risk for heart attack and stroke, lowering blood sugar to near-normal levels did not delay the combined risk of diabetic damage to kidneys, eyes, or nerves, but did delay several other signs of diabetic damage, a study has found. The intensive glucose treatment was compared with standard glucose control.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 2, 2010

June 2010

Judge Rules Only Nurses Can Administer Insulin Shots to California Schoolchildren

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled that only school nurses can give insulin shots to children in public schools who have diabetes. The decision by Judge Lloyd Connelly overturned a 2007 California State Department of Education decision that allowed trained school staff, as well as nurses, to administer such injections.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 25, 2010

Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 and You

We all know that certain chemicals in everyday products are harmful:  mercury and lead, just to name a couple. But how harmful, and what can we do about it?

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 9, 2010

Government Goes Undercover to Investigate Supplements

That confused-looking old man in the dietary supplements aisle was more than he seemed. He was actually an undercover government agent.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 8, 2010

May 2010

National Plan to Improve Health Literacy

The United States Department of Health and Human Services released The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy aimed at making health information and services easier to understand and use. The plan calls for improving the jargon-filled language, dense writing, and complex explanations that often fill patient handouts, medical forms, health web sites, and recommendations to the public.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 30, 2010

Why Drugstore Genetic Tests Upset the FDA

On Tuesday, Pathway Genomics announced that their personal genetic testing kit (InsightTM Saliva Collection Kit) would soon be available at the pharmacy chain Walgreens. The next day, the FDA released a letter it had sent to Pathway Genomics on Monday saying hold on, there was no approval on record for Pathway's Genetic Health Report. By Thursday, Wallgreens announced that it was delaying the sale of the genetic testing kits.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 15, 2010

FDA’s Bad Ad Program

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a "Bad Ad Program," an outreach effort aimed at educating healthcare providers and urging them to report misleading drug advertisements. The Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC), in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, administers the program.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 13, 2010

April 2010

National Physical Activity Plan Seeks to Reduce Chronic Illness and Obesity

Increasing physical activity for greater health among the American public will take center stage on May 3 with the launch of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP or Plan).  The signature events of the launch will be a press conference at the National Press Club and briefings with members of Congress in Washington, D.C.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Prevention Research Center at the University of South Carolina are providing the organizational infrastructure for writing the plan.  The implementation of the plan will be coordinated by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA).  The goal of NPAP is "to encourage everyone to be more physically active, reduce barriers to inactivity, and make sure our communities and institutions provide opportunities to move." 

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 29, 2010

FDA Launches Initiative to Reduce Infusion Pump Risks

Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an initiative to evaluate safety problems that may occur with external infusion pumps.  These devices are used to deliver fluids or medications to patients in a controlled manner. Insulin pumps, for example, release insulin into the body at a controlled rate to compensate for a lack of insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes.

comments 8 comments - Posted Apr 27, 2010

National Conference on Diabetes

Conference Task Force Members will meet with policymakers, healthcare providers, payers, patients, and other stakeholders to discuss how to tackle the diabetes epidemic and reverse its economic impact on our nation's healthcare system.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 22, 2010

Urgent Support Needed for Type 1 Diabetes Legislation

Diabetes Health was curious to explore the progress of the proposed legislation to renew the Special Diabetes Program, also known as the SDP (H.R. 3668 in the House of Representatives and S. 3058 in the Senate.)  These bills would renew the SDP for five years. We were pleased to note that the JDRF's "Promise to Remember Me" campaign, which aims to facilitate meetings between representatives and senators and their constituents in their local districts, has resulted in JDRF Advocates already completing over 300 meetings with members of Congress. 

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 17, 2010

Novo Nordisk Introduces New Industry Resource for Information on Diabetes and Chronic Disease

Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company and leader in diabetes care, announced the launch of the Novo Nordisk BlueSheet, a resource for information on diabetes and chronic disease, highlighting key issues in diabetes prevention, detection, treatment and care.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 4, 2010

The Medicare Donut Hole: Now You're Covered, Now You're Not

If you're older, a woman, and suffering from either dementia or diabetes, you are the most likely to be exposed to unsubsidized medication costs in the US. This is known as the coverage gap for enrollees of Medicare Part D - the US federal program which subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. According to Dr. Susan Ettner from UCLA in the US, and her colleagues, these clinically vulnerable groups should be counseled on how to best manage costs through either drug substitution or discontinuation of specific, non-essential medications. This is important so that more essential medication is not discontinued with adverse effects on patients' health, for cost reasons only. Their findings¹ have just appeared online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine², published by Springer.

comments 2 comments - Posted Apr 2, 2010

March 2010

FDA Hedges Approval of Long-Acting Byetta, Asks Amylin for More Information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has withheld approval of Bydureon, the once-weekly version of the popular type 2 diabetes drug Byetta.  The agency has asked its manufacturer, Amylin, for more information regarding Bydureon's manufacture, labeling, and risk management plan. It did not, however, request further information on tests of the drug itself-an indication that the agency probably intends to grant marketing permission once it has dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's involved in the approval process.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 29, 2010

President Obama's Letter to Americans

This morning, I gathered with members of Congress, my administration, and hardworking volunteers from every part of the country to sign comprehensive health care reform into law.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 24, 2010

Health Reform Creates Winners, Losers, and an Interesting Timeline

USA Today has an interactive timeline of when provisions will take effect as well as an article about how the bill could affect "nearly all" Americans. "Poor adults will get Medicaid. Low-income families will get federal subsidies to buy insurance. Small businesses will get tax credits. Children will be able to stay on parents' policies until they turn 26. Seniors will gain additional prescription-drug coverage. ... On the other hand, the wealthy will pay higher taxes to help finance the 10-year, roughly $940 billion cost. Businesses with 50 or more workers will have to insure them or pay a penalty. Individuals, too, will have to pay a fine if they don't buy insurance" (Wolf and Young, 3/23).

comments 2 comments - Posted Mar 23, 2010

FDA eyes improvements for diabetics' glucose devices

At a two-day meeting (March 16 and 17, 2010) to review blood glucose meters, Food and Drug Administration officials and staff pointed to a number of issues that can prevent people from getting proper treatment and sought input from medical experts and industry on ways to improve test results with the widely used devices.

comments 1 comment - Posted Mar 18, 2010

Piecemeal COBRA Health Insurance Subsidy Extensions Puzzle Laid-Off Workers

Every day, dozens of confused, laid-off workers call the privately-run COBRA Help Center in Long Island, N.Y., which administers COBRA group health insurance plans. They're struggling to understand whether they're eligible for federal subsidies. It's not surprising, says George Fox, a field underwriter for the company Planning Financial Futures Inc., that runs the center on behalf of employers and consumers.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 17, 2010

Amylin Hopes to Begin U.S. Sales of Long-Acting Byetta Early This Year

Amylin Pharmaceuticals has announced that it expects to begin selling a once-weekly version of its diabetes drug, Byetta, by the end of the year. The company reports that the FDA is nearing final inspections of its manufacturing plant and could give the go-ahead for U.S. sales in early March.

comments 2 comments - Posted Mar 4, 2010

Money Money Money: Diabetes Research Funding

The demand for diabetes research funding clearly exceeds the funds available. In the United States, 23.6 million children and adults (7.8 percent of the population) have diabetes, and we spent $174 billion on diagnosed diabetes alone in 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available). It is imperative that we take action, but where is the research funding coming from? Can it possibly be sufficient, and how is it being spent? 

comments 3 comments - Posted Mar 3, 2010

February 2010

Doctors' Group: Obama Plan Leaves Millions Uninsured, Boosts Private Insurers

President Obama's health care proposal, preserving as it does a central role for the for-profit, private health insurance industry, is incapable of achieving the kind of universal, comprehensive and affordable reform the country needs, a spokesman for a national doctors' group said Wednesday.

comments 2 comments - Posted Feb 26, 2010

GSK rejects conclusions of Senate Committee on Finance Staff Report on Avandia

The Staff Report of the Senate Committee on Finance draws conclusions on the safety of Avandia (rosiglitazone) that are based on analyses that are not consistent with the rigorous scientific evidence supporting the safety of the drug. In addition, the report cherry-picks information from documents, which mischaracterizes GlaxoSmithKline's comprehensive efforts to research Avandia and communicate those findings to regulators, physicians and patients. In fact, the safety and effectiveness of Avandia is well characterized in the label approved by the FDA.

comments 1 comment - Posted Feb 23, 2010

U.S. Senate Report Says Glaxo Knew that Avandia Increases Risk of Heart Attacks

A U.S. Senate Finance Committee report released on February 20 says that Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline's drug for type 2 diabetes, may have caused as many as 83,000 heart attacks between 1999, when the drug was introduced, and 2007. The Senate report, culminating a two-year inquiry into the drug, also says that Glaxo knew about the drug's potential risks years before suspicions began to form regarding a connection between Avandia and heart problems.

comments 2 comments - Posted Feb 22, 2010

California Parents of Children with Diabetes and Care Advocates Hail Isadore Hall, III Legislation to Fight Diabetes

Sacramento- February 10, 2010 -- Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Isadore Hall, III (D- Compton) today introduced AB 1802, which would clarify existing law by allowing, but not requiring, a parent/guardian-designated teacher, administrator or school employee to administer insulin to a diabetic student while on a school campus.

comments 4 comments - Posted Feb 11, 2010

Obamas Take On Problem of Obese Children

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -  Alarmed that nearly a third of U.S. children are obese or overweight -- and likely to stay that way all their lives -- President Barack Obama launched an initiative on Tuesday to roll back the numbers and put his wife in charge of promoting it.

comments 5 comments - Posted Feb 9, 2010

January 2010

Moving Toward a Healthcare Bill: What People with Diabetes Need to Know

The effort underway in Washington, D.C., to draft a healthcare bill is often described as "trying to get a handle on so many moving parts." At issue is this: the House passed a 1,990 page bill in December followed by the Senate passing a 2,074 page bill on Christmas Eve. Now, those two versions are being merged into one with a conference committee that would be composed of House and Senate Members while, at the same time, the White House has been pushing for a deadline by the State of the Union Address, now scheduled for Wednesday, January 27.  So far, all sides believe there will be a health care bill in front of the president within the next few weeks. What it looks like is one of the "moving parts."

comments 3 comments - Posted Jan 20, 2010

December 2009

Senate Passes Health Care Reform

"The passing of health reform in the Senate is a historic moment for our nation and for all people affected by diabetes," commented George J. Huntley, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association.

comments 13 comments - Posted Dec 26, 2009

Eliminating Endocrinologist Consultations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 7 -- A survey just conducted by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) indicates that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to eliminate consultation codes will force four out of five endocrinologists to reduce the number of Medicare patients seen in their practices.

comments 7 comments - Posted Dec 15, 2009

November 2009

Diabetes Population to Double and Diabetes Costs to Nearly Triple in 25 Years, New Study Shows

PRINCETON, NJ (November 27, 2009) - The diabetes population in the United States will almost double over the next 25 years and annual medical spending on the disease is projected to hit $336 billion, up from $113 billion today, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.  The National Changing Diabetes® Program (NCDP), a program of Novo Nordisk, commissioned the analysis by a team from the University of Chicago.

comments 5 comments - Posted Nov 27, 2009

Primary Care Doctors, Endocrinologists Feel Ill-Equipped to Provide Ideal, Multi-Disciplinary Team Care

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly one-third of doctors surveyed said they did not have enough time and did not receive sufficient reimbursement to provide comprehensive care to their patients with diabetes, according to the results of a study of endocrinologists and primary care doctors published in American Health & Drug Benefits.

comments 4 comments - Posted Nov 20, 2009

The Affordable Health Care for America Act Passed

Whew! We received a landslide of comments recently when we published an article called Demand Health Care Reform Now! Some people complained that politics should stay out of our publication. Unfortunately, healthcare is a political issue, and we at Diabetes Health are interested in healthcare. We believe that healthcare should not be tied to employment and should be available to all, regardless of how healthy or wealthy they are. As always, though, we encourage dialog and welcome all points of view. Please keep telling us what you think.

comments 7 comments - Posted Nov 19, 2009

Genetic Information and Discrimination

The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was signed into law by former President George W. Bush on May 21, 2008, and is set to become effective Nov. 21, 2009. The law covers all employers with 15 or more employees. It prohibits employers from considering a person's genetic background in promotions, hiring, or firing. It also prohibits health insurers from using genetic information to deny coverage.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 16, 2009

Secretary Sebelius Releases New Report on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the nation marks American Diabetes Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report today, Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America. The report comes one day after Sebelius toured the East Manatee Family Healthcare Center in Bradenton, Fla. At the center, Sebelius met with patients and Floridians who care for people with diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Nov 12, 2009

Demand Health Care Reform Now!

Congress is getting a little bit closer to making the changes to the health care system we've been dreaming about for a very long time. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says these changes could provide a real benefit to people with diabetes. Draft health care reform bills have now passed through the committee process in both the House and the Senate.

comments 27 comments - Posted Nov 4, 2009

October 2009

MGMA: Bills Include Transaction Mandates

HealthDataManagement Breaking News, October 13, 2009 - All three health reform bills in the U.S. House and both of the Senate proposals include provisions to mandate increased use of electronic standards-based administrative/financial transactions, according to an analysis by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Englewood, Colo.

comments 1 comment - Posted Oct 15, 2009

September 2009

A Healthy Tax on Soft Drinks Could Fund Programs and Lower Consumption

We're drinking so much sugar-sweetened soda that it's become a taxing problem, according to a Health Policy Report published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. Between 1977 and 2002, Americans doubled their intake of sugary beverages. Unfortunately, that's not good news for anyone but the beverage companies. Although high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and fruit juice concentrates are naturally derived sweeteners (as opposed to artificial low- or no-calorie sweeteners), this added sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

comments 24 comments - Posted Sep 19, 2009

August 2009

FDA Issues Warning About Test Strips That Can Give False Readings, Lead to Insulin Overdoses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against the use of GDH-PQQ blood glucose test strips by people with diabetes who are taking medications that contain non-glucose sugars. [Note: GDH-PQQ is the abbreviation of "glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinone," a chemical that reacts with the non-glucose sugars maltose, galactose, and xylose, which are contained in some therapeutic products.]

comments 10 comments - Posted Aug 24, 2009

June 2009

Let's Make Diabetes a National Priority

The National Changing Diabetes Program (NCDP) is an organization working within the healthcare community to elevate diabetes on the national health agenda and improve the lives of people with this devastating disease. Recently, the NCDP commissioned a new study on the growing influence of diabetes on the U.S. economy and population. The NCDP also is taking steps to reduce the increasing impact of diabetes on the United States.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 26, 2009

Court Rules That Texas Cop With Diabetes was Discriminated Against

In May, 2009, a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) discriminated against Jeff Kapche when it refused to hire him as a Special Agent because of his diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 26, 2009

Sotomayor, Diabetes, and the Supreme Court

As you probably know by now, President Obama's first nominee to the Supreme Court is Judge Sonia Sotomayor. If she is confirmed to the lifelong post, Sotomayor will be not only the first Hispanic to sit on the high court, but also the first Justice with type 1 diabetes.

comments 59 comments - Posted Jun 5, 2009

AADE Supports Bill to Improve Access to Diabetes Education Services for Medicare Recipients

As Congress and President Obama get set to tackle healthcare reform, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has begun a multi-front battle to seek Medicare designation for all certified diabetes educators (CDEs). 

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 5, 2009

May 2009

Diabetes Educators and Their Supporters Asked to Rally Behind “Catalyst to Better Diabetes Care Act”

Diabetes educators and their supporters nationwide are being asked to rally behind congressional legislation that would establish a "national diabetes report card," promote better training of doctors with regard to reporting diabetes as a factor in births and deaths, and set federal standards requiring doctors to achieve a level of diabetes education before they can be licensed or certified.

comments 7 comments - Posted May 8, 2009

April 2009

Really Great Diabetes Information, From Medicare of All Places

Well, this is a surprise. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 contains a little known section, Section 1013, that has actually led to something really useful: Up-to-date information about diabetes culled from real research and presented in language that we all can understand. Section 1013 authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to difficult health problems and to make that information accessible and understandable to "decisionmakers": that is, you, me, and our doctors. And diabetes is one of the difficult health problems to which the AHRQ is directing its attention.

comments 2 comments - Posted Apr 21, 2009

Is the FDA Helping or Hurting Us When It Comes to New Medicines?

A new research report by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) reviews three decades of the Food and Drug Administration's performance and concludes that the agency is over-funded, over-staffed, and denies hundreds of thousands of Americans timely access to new medicines. Leviathan's Drug Problem: The Federal Monopoly of Pharmaceutical Regulation and Its Deadly Cost was authored by John R. Graham, Director of Health Care Studies at PRI. 

comments 5 comments - Posted Apr 7, 2009

March 2009

At Last! Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Lifted

"Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident," said President Obama, as he signed an executive order lifting the ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is celebrating President Obama's new policy. They recently released this statement by Mary Tyler Moore, the International Chairman of the JDRF: 

comments 12 comments - Posted Mar 17, 2009

The Broken Safety Net

If you live in California and have been denied insurance coverage because you have diabetes, you'll probably have to wait to enroll in the state-run program that's supposed to offer you health benefits. But California Republican Senator Sam Aanestad of Grass Valley hopes to change that with legislation he introduced January 20th. Aanestad says his bill, Senate Bill 57, would alter that program in ways that will allow more people access to coverage.

comments 1 comment - Posted Mar 10, 2009

February 2009

Medicine, Faith, and Parenting

Last March, an 11-year-old Wisconsin girl, Kara Neumann, died from diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious complication of diabetes that results when glucose is unavailable to the body as a fuel source, fat is used instead, and toxic byproducts of fat breakdown, called ketones, build up). Kara had undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. She was never treated by medical professionals because her parents believe that only God can heal the sick. They prayed for their daughter's health, but they did not seek medical attention.

comments 12 comments - Posted Feb 6, 2009

January 2009

Urge the FDA to Reduce Barriers to Diabetes Innovation: Sign the Petition!

A long list of movers and shakers in the diabetes community has started a petition whose message is clear and simple: 

comments 6 comments - Posted Jan 17, 2009

November 2008

Court Sides With California Nurses, Rules That Only They Can Give Insulin Shots to Diabetic Kids
Court Sides With California Nurses, Rules That Only They Can Give Insulin Shots to Diabetic Kids

A Superior Court judge in Sacramento has overturned a 2007 ruling that allowed trained school staff, not just registered nurses, to administer insulin shots to children with diabetes. The ruling affects approximately 14,000 California school children. 

comments 6 comments - Posted Nov 24, 2008

World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2008
World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2008

Today is not the first World Diabetes Day. This day was designated World Diabetes Day in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been celebrated each year on November 14 since then.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 14, 2008

September 2008

The California Diabetes Program Has Been Saved!
The California Diabetes Program Has Been Saved!

Dear Colleagues,

Late yesterday the California Diabetes Program received official notice that their request for exemption from the Governor's Executive Order was approved! This allows the program and staff to continue without interruption. The news came in the nick-of-time as lay-offs were scheduled for October 1, 2008.

comments 1 comment - Posted Sep 30, 2008

Speak Out When Schools Eliminate Full-Time Nurses!
Speak Out When Schools Eliminate Full-Time Nurses!

This is a worst case scenario.
This is the untrained trying to do the unknown.
This is 20 minutes of hell.

comments 11 comments - Posted Sep 4, 2008

July 2008

Let’s Sit Down and Eat: L.A. City Council Combats Diabetes and Obesity in South Central

The Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously to ban the opening of new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles (aka “South Central”) and nearby neighborhoods.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 31, 2008

New Yorkers, Speak Up! The Fight for CGMS Coverage Continues
New Yorkers, Speak Up! The Fight for CGMS Coverage Continues

If you are a New Yorker and have been denied CGMS coverage by insurance or would like coverage for a continuous glucose monitoring system, Gina Capone, founder of Diabetes TalkFest, wants you to Raise your Voice.

comments 3 comments - Posted Jul 25, 2008

The Star-Fish Story, Diabetes, and the Poorest Nation in the World
The Star-Fish Story, Diabetes, and the Poorest Nation in the World

Have you heard the story of the little boy who was on the beach after a storm?  Thousands of starfish had washed ashore, and he picked up one after another and threw them back into the sea.  A man watched him work and after some time said to the boy, “Look at all these starfish.  You’re never going to be able to save them all. Do you think all your work will make a difference?”  The boy thought for a minute as he looked up and down the beach. “I don’t know,” he said as he picked up another starfish and flung it into the brine, “but it sure will make a difference to this one!”

comments 4 comments - Posted Jul 11, 2008

Amputee Coalition of America Enjoys Record Attendance at its National Conference
Amputee Coalition of America Enjoys Record Attendance at its National Conference

The 2008 Amputee Coalition of America’s annual national conference in Atlanta June 19 through 22 set new attendance records, driven by interest in the proposed federal prosthetic parity law and other issues of importance to amputees.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 10, 2008

June 2008

Flying on Insulin

Every pilot’s nightmare is the thought of losing his medical certification and being stopped from flying. That happened to me in May of 1986, when I was diagnosed with type 1. In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices, Canada, along with every other country in the world, would not allow insulin-dependent pilots to hold any type of pilot’s license. My short eight-year career with Air Canada came to an abrupt end, and I was told in no uncertain terms that I would never be allowed to fly an aircraft again.

comments 9 comments - Posted Jun 26, 2008

September 2007

California Nurses Put the Brakes on Training Non-Medical School Staff

Recently, as the result of the settlement of a 2005 lawsuit filed by parents and the ADA, California schools were told that they must have staff available, trained but not necessarily licensed, to help diabetic students with their shots, monitoring, and other needs.

comments 1 comment - Posted Sep 4, 2007

August 2007

Virginia Non-Medical School Personnel Help Care For Diabetic Students

In 1999, Virginia passed a law requiring non-medical school personnel to help students with their type 1 diabetes whenever a school nurse isn't around. A recent study looked at who was filling in for the missing nurses and whether they were doing a good job of it.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 3, 2007

July 2007

The Federal Government Hugely Out-of-Pocket for Diabetes Care
The Federal Government Hugely Out-of-Pocket for Diabetes Care

In 2005, the national government spent more on diabetes than on the entire budget for the Department of Education. One out of every eight dollars spent by the federal government on healthcare (twelve percent of all healthcare expenditures) went to diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 12, 2007

June 2007

Stem Cell Funding Bill Headed For Bush Veto In Spite of Plenitude of Frozen Embryos

The House of Representatives has just approved legislation to increase federal funding of stem cell research. It's already passed in the Senate, so now it goes to President Bush for his inevitable veto. He's made it clear that it's a dead issue as far as he's concerned, and so far, neither chamber has been able to muster the two-thirds majority necessary to override his veto.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 20, 2007

New Massachusetts Police Can't Use an Insulin Pump

A 22-year-old who's planning to graduate from college this spring with a degree in criminal justice has run up against a Massachusetts state law that bars anyone who wears an insulin pump from being hired as a full-time police officer.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 4, 2007

February 2007

Galvus Approval Delayed While FDA Reviews Safety Data

Novartis reports that there will be a three-month delay in approval for its experimental diabetes drug, Galvus, due to the FDA’s request for additional safety data.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2007

December 2006

FDA Green-Lights New Type 2 Oral Med

On October 17, 2006, the oral medication Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate) was granted approval by the FDA. Januvia is the first diabetes treatment approved in a new class of drugs known as DDP-4 inhibitors that enhances the body’s own ability to lower elevated blood sugar.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2006

March 2006

A Call for a Worldwide Unity in Diabetes

It is no secret that diabetes has become an enormous international problem. Right now, there are over 194 million people worldwide with diabetes. That number is expected to rocket beyond 334 million in the next 20 years. Something has to be done and quickly.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2006

December 2005

Extended-Release Metformin Combo Drug Given the Green Light

Glumetza, a once-daily extended-release formulation of metformin hydrochloride, was granted FDA approval in June 2005 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2005

November 2005

ACTOplus Met Approved by the FDA for Type 2 Diabetes

In August 2005, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved ACTOplus Met for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2005

April 2005

Diabetes Education and Medicare

Over the last six years, I have had numerous memorable moments and treasured experiences, but among the best was the day I was named an Honorary CDE by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2005

March 2005

More Relief Is On the Way

Relief may be on the way for the estimated five million Americans suffering from diabetes-related neuropathy pain—a stabbing, shooting, burning pain that is associated with nerve damage most often in the feet and legs but which can also occur in the hands and arms.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2005

Government Issues Latest Dietary Guidelines

On January 12, 2005, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) published their new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2005

April 2004

Medicare Reform Act

By far, the most important medical legislation passed in 2003 was the Medicare Reform Act

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 1, 2004

March 2004

Federal Appeals Court Rules That Eating Is a Major Life Activity

A September 2003 decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Oregon determined that eating is a “major life activity,” for the purpose of establishing a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2004

February 2004

Worlds Smallest Insulin Pump Approved

Animas Corporation announced it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the world’s smallest insulin pump.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2004

Novo Nordisk Receives ‘Approvable Letter’ From FDA

On October 8, 2003, Novo Nordisk announced that it had received an “Approvable Letter” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for insulin detemir, its long-acting insulin analog.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2004

November 2003

Did You Set Up a 504 Plan With Your Child's School? 25% of Parents Polled Don't Know What a 504 Is

If your child has diabetes, have you worked with school staff to set up a 504 plan to accommodate your child’s special needs?

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2003

April 2003

McLawsuit Tossed

"Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald's," a federal judge said as he threw out a class-action lawsuit that blamed McDonald's food for causing obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2003

March 2003

Funding Bill Becomes a Law

On December 17, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 5738—a $1.5 billion bill that will substantially increase and extend funding for the Special Diabetes Program.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2003

Funding Bill Becomes a Law

On December 17, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 5738 - a $1.5 billion bill that will substantially increase and extend funding for the Special Diabetes Program.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2003

February 2003

Getting Paid!

A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee returned a verdict in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a man who was fired for having type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2003

Getting Paid! Court Rules in Favor of Worker With Type 1 in Firing Case

A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee returned a verdict in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a man who was fired for having type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2003

January 2003

Triple Therapy for Type 2 Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new indication for Glucovance (glyburide and metformin tablets), allowing the type 2 diabetes medication to be taken in combination with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) when adequate control is not achieved with diet and exercise.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2003

A Two-Headed Type 2 Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on October 11, 2002, that it had approved Avandamet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2003

Combination Drug Approved for Type 2 Diabetes

In October 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an oral type 2 medication that combines glipizide and metformin.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2003

December 2002

Blood Pressure Drug Approved to Treat Heart Failure

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Diovan (valsartan), a medication for high blood pressure, to treat heart failure in people who cannot tolerate ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitors.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2002

November 2002

No Kidding Around!

Parents who wanted to see GlucoWatch Biographers on the wrists of their children with diabetes received good news on August 28, 2002, with the announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the GlucoWatch for use with children ages 7 to 17. The device received earlier FDA approval for adults with diabetes in April 2002.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2002

October 2002

Pure and Simple

By 2004, every islet transplantation facility will have to be certified as a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Islet and Cellular Transplantation Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is the first such facility to receive GMP certification—ensuring that the highest international standards are maintained for the isolation and purification of islets for transplantation.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2002

A Tough Break: Appeals Court Says Pharmacist With Type 1 Not Covered Under Disability Law Guidelines

A former Wal-Mart pharmacist with diabetes who closed the store's pharmacy in Chadron, Nebraska, while he ate lunch is not covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed in a July 2002 ruling.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2002

August 2002

Is Aspartame Dangerous?

Q: I received an e-mail recently that has been circulating around the Internet since 1995. It concerns the sweetener aspartame. Is this sweetener dangerous to use?

comments 5 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2002

Running the Gamut

Bayer Diagnostics announced on May 28, 2002, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of its complete line of blood glucose meters for alternate-site testing.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2002

May 2002

Set 'Em Up: New Insulin Pump Infusion Set Approved

SpectRx, Inc., added another tool to the insulin delivery arsenal when it received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 4 for its minimally invasive insulin patch infusion set for use with insulin pumps.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2002

February 2002

Testing Brand Names On Kids

On December 18, 2001, the U.S. Congress approved a bill granting brand-name drug makers six months of marketing exclusivity after exclusive rights expire to allow them to test their medications on children. If signed by the president, the renewed bill would extend the current law for another five years, through 2007.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2002

November 2001

ADA Says Exercise on the Side of Caution When Traveling by Air

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented stepped-up security measures at the nation's airports in response to the tragic events of September 11. Some new security measures may affect airline passengers with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recognizes the added inconvenience this may pose for individuals with diabetes, but understands the necessity to secure airline passenger safety.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2001

October 2001

Officers of the Law Ignore Special Needs of People With Diabetes -Mistreatment In Police Custody Prompts Lawsuit and FBI Investigation

"I am currently incarcerated at a medium-security prison," writes James Mackenzie, in a letter to Diabetes Health from a jail in Shirley, Massachusetts. "I am 38 years old and suffer from diabetes and severe pain in my spine. The medical staff has tried to reduce my blood sugars—which range from 140 to 427 mg/dl. The problem is that it brings my readings into the hypoglycemia range of 50 to 72 mg/dl. This happens even with the lowest dosages.

comments 2 comments - Posted Oct 1, 2001

June 2001


"With its action today, the [Oklahoma] House of Representatives kept alive the hope that these children will no longer face a life-threatening situation without trained personnel being at the school."

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2001

May 2001

GlucoWatch Approved

Cygnus, Inc. of Redwood City, California, has finally completed its long journey to receiving FDA approval for its GlucoWatch Biographer. People with diabetes, however, should expect to wait until the end of 2001, or later, before being able to purchase one.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2001

Treating Your Feet

The most recent statistics say 86,000 people with diabetes suffer from lower-limb amputations. Experts, however, say that half of them could be avoided.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2001

April 2001

80 Nobel Winners Speak Out in Favor of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research: Send Letter Urging President Not to Block Funds

In an effort to deter President Bush from blocking federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research, 80 U.S. Nobel laureates—among them DNA co-discoverers James Watson and Francis Crick, molecular biologist Hamilton O. Smith, and Edward Lewis—faxed a letter to the White House.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2001

March 2001

President Bush Hints Opposition to Embryonic Stem-cell Research

On January 26, President Bush all but announced he would oppose the use of federal funds for research using stem cells from aborted fetuses.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2001

February 2001

FDA Clears FreeStyle Meter for Use in Multiple Sites

TheraSense, Inc. of Alameda, California, received word on December 13, 2000 that its FreeStyle blood glucose monitor has received FDA clearance for testing on the upper arm, thigh, calf and anywhere on the hand. The FDA had recently cleared the FreeStyle for testing on the forearm.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2001

January 2001

FDA-approved Meter Does it all For You

On November 20, 2000, Abbott Laboratories of Bedford, Massachusetts announced it had received U.S. Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance for its Sof-Tact. This diabetes management system, according to Abbott, is the first automated glucose monitor to offer lancing, blood collection and glucose testing with a single press of a button.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2001

December 2000

Setting the Standard

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has yet to issue a final ruling on its standards for Medicare reimbursement. For many, however, the writing on the wall is clear: to qualify, it's the ADA's way or the highway.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2000

Senate Passes Measure for Diabetic Children

In September, the Senate passed the Children's Public Health Act of 2000, which includes important provisions that address the study of and search for a cure for type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2000

September 2000

President Clinton Announces 10 New Transplant Sites - Revolutionary New Islet-transplant Procedure to Begin This Fall

On July 13, President Clinton announced the 10 centers chosen to replicate the Edmonton Protocol.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2000

People With Diabetes Mistreated, Philadelphia Police Withhold Medicine and Food

On June 27, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) joined as plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit charging the City of Philadelphia with denying people with diabetes proper medical treatment while in police custody.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2000

August 2000

FDA Approves Apligraf for Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers—Live Skin Used to Heal Foot Wounds

Only a month and 12 days after receiving recommendation for approval from a FDA advisory board, Apligraf was formally given approval for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers of greater than a three-week duration.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2000

July 2000

Bill Introduced in Congress to Cover Pancreas Transplants

On May 18, Congressional Diabetes Caucus co-chair George Nethercutt, R-Wash., and colleagues Reps. Lois Capps D-Ca., John Edward Porter R-Ill. and John LaFalce D-N.Y., introduced H.R. 4495. The bill, known as the Insulin-Free World Medicare Pancreas Transplantation Coverage Act, would provide Medicare coverage for all "medically necessary" pancreas transplants.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 2000

June 2000

House Passes Resolution to Help Kids—Organ Transplant Research to Go Forward

On April 4, the U.S House of Representatives passed, by a 410-0 margin, House Resolution (HR) 4008, the Pediatric Organ Transplantation Improvement Act of 2000. Congressional Diabetes Caucus cochair Diana DeGette, D-Colo., introduced the measure.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2000

May 2000

FDA Approves Avandia For Use in Combination with Sulfonylureas

On April 3, SmithKline Beecham announced that the FDA has approved Avandia for use as a treatment in combination with sulfonylureas. Previously, Avandia had been approved for treating type 2 diabetes as both monotherapy and in combination with Glucophage.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2000

April 2000

Animas is New Pump Player on the Block

Animas Corporation will be having its coming-out party to the diabetes community this May.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2000

January 2000

Live Skin Used to Heal Foot Wounds

On May 8, an advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended approval of the bioengineered skin substitute Apligraf.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 7, 2000

Parents of School Kids With Diabetes Get a Big Victory—Ruling States School District Must Treat Diabetes Problems

Virginia public schools must now train their employees to administer both insulin and glucagon shots to children with diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2000

October 1999

JDF to People with Diabetes: Put the Pressure on Congress

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) is urging people with diabetes to take out pen and paper to ask Congress for more diabetes research money. In September, Congress began its discussion on bills to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1999

September 1999

Supreme Court Limits Rights of People with Diabetes

People with diabetes who sue their employers for discrimination based on their disease may now have a more difficult time in court.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1999

August 1999

First Lady Announces $120 Million Allocation for Islet Research

The federal government has said $120 million of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) allocated budget will be given to clinical trials of islet transplantation. On June 7, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the allocation, and kicked off the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Children's Congress in Washington.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 1999

July 1999

Good Intentions: HMO Covers Only One Brand of Meter and Syringe—Patients, Educators Challenge Policy and Create Change

Imagine if a free glucose meter showed up at your door. You'd be thrilled, right? Well, it happened to David Fogarty, but he wasn't thrilled. This Berkeley, California, father was fuming mad. Fogarty's HMO, Health Net, sent a free Precision Q.I.D. meter to his 11-year-old son, Lucas, and to all its other members with diabetes. The catch was, Health Net would soon stop covering strips for Lucas's One Touch Profile.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1999

Open 24 Hours — Once-Per-Day Basal Insulin Submitted to FDA

One shot per day of long-acting insulin may be all that you need in the future, if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Hoechst's insulin glargine, a 24-hour basal insulin.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1999

May 1999

April 1999

Group Advises Government to Double Spending on Diabetes Research

Over a year ago, the United States Congress gave the Diabetes Research Working Group (DRWG) this task: tell us what we need to do, and what we need to spend, to cure diabetes. On February 25, the group answered the question, recommending a strategic plan for the next five years of diabetes research.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 1999

Stem Cell Research Could Lead to Endless Islets - But Ethics Issues Cause Debate in Washington

The outcome of the contentious stem cell research debate in Washington will influence the future of islet transplantation.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 1999

February 1999

FDA Trials for Oral Insulin

The FDA has given the go-ahead for human clinical trials of the oral insulin formulation made by Generex Biotechnology. Called Oralgen in the United States, the liquid insulin is taken with Generex's aerosol applicator.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1999

December 1998

Controversial Medicare Policy Gets a Makeover—Diabetes Community Still Not Pleased

DIABETES HEALTH reported in the October 1998 issue that the Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carriers (DMERC) had established an interim policy on Medicare coverage of glucose monitors for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes ("Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Glucose Monitors").

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1998

Needle-Free Insulin Injector Breezes Through FDA

Many companies are competing in the race to painless injections. One of the first to cross the finish line is National Medical Products (NMP), maker of the J-Tip needle-free injector. NMP says the J-Tip, currently available, "delivers insulin virtually pain free and without damaging blood vessels."

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1998

November 1998

Beef Insulin Pulled in Canada

For many years, sulfated beef insulin has been produced for insulin users. By 1993 there were 26 people taking sulfated beef insulin in Canada. By 1996 only 15 people were still using sulfated beef insulin.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1998

Human Rights for PWD

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will sponsor World Diabetes Day on November 14, which is the birthday of Frederick Banting, a leader in the discovery of insulin.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1998

October 1998

Options You Have with the Government

If you wish to complain about the shortage of beef-pork insulin, file a shortage complaint using the Medwatch Form 3500 discussed below. You may also wish to appeal to Congress (the FDA's boss).

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1998

September 1998

Bus Drivers with Diabetes Vindicated

Arizona and North Carolina recently agreed not to fire or refuse to hire school bus drivers simply because they have diabetes. Both states had laws that prohibited people with diabetes who use insulin from operating a school bus, and had enforced these laws without regard to an individual's safety record.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1998

June 1998

IOC Says No Insulin for Nondiabetics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently added insulin to its list of banned substances for all nondiabetic athletes. According to the IOC, insulin, while used by people with diabetes to control blood sugar levels, can be used by nondiabetic athletes to gain muscle mass. Its misuse can have an adverse affect on health, possibly leading to death.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1998

May 1998

First Impotence Pill Approved by FDA

Viagra, the first oral medication for impotence, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March. In clinical studies, 64 to 72 percent of the patients successfully completed intercourse after taking Viagra.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 1998

April 1998

New Ruling Protects Type 1s from Discrimination

In a decisive victory for people with diabetes, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that those who take insulin are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 1998

February 1998

New Way to Stimulate Your Pancreas

Prandin (repaglinide), a new type 2 oral medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk, has been approved by the FDA.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1998

October 1997

British Diabetes Association Statement on Human and Animal Insulins, 1997

The British Diabetic Association's (BDA's) insulin campaign is committed to securing choice for people with diabetes for the kind of insulin that they use. The BDA is therefore committed to securing long-term availability of animal and human insulins, and provision of animal insulins in pen cartridges.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1997

American Diabetes Association Statement on Animal and Human Insulin, 1997

The American Diabetes Association recognizes patients' concerns with the discontinuation of mixed beef/pork insulin production in the United States. Patients need and deserve adequate education and assistance as they switch to either pure pork or human insulin. We strongly urge insulin-producing companies to recognize these concerns as well, and take steps necessary to give providers the tools to help their patients make this transition.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1997

Canadian Diabetes Association Recommendations for Human and Animal Insulins, 1997

(Our) survey results indicate that for some people, changing insulins has a negative impact on their health, well-being and quality of life. People need more information as to the reasons for changing their insulin and they need to have the choice. They need the support of their physicians and their diabetes health care teams during this time of change-over. The (Canadian) National Advocacy Committee is committed to advocating for the continuation of beef/pork insulins for those whose health, well-being or quality of life will be affected by the change.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1997

September 1997

Clinton Clinches the Deal - $300 Million and New Medicare Policies for Diabetes Prevention

This year Christmas came in August for millions of people with diabetes. With a few strokes of his pen, President Clinton signed into law new Medicare policies and allocated $300 million for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. These funds are in addition to the money the NIH receives for diabetes research every year.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1997

February 1997

FDA Advisory Board OKs Rezulin

There is a new medication for people with type 2 diabetes on insulin that could help reduce, and in a few cases possibly eliminate, the need for insulin. The drug appears to resensitize the body to insulin and makes it easier for glucose to be absorbed from the bloodstream.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1997

A New Ally Against Impotence

Now impotence sufferers have another valuable ally. VIVUS Inc. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its new product MUSE (Alprostadil), a urethral suppository for the treatment of impotence.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1997

November 1996

Tips for Victims of Job Bias

Workers who believe they have been harmed by illegal discrimination may sue current and former employers. If victimized by illegal job bias, here are some strategies which can protect your rights and enhance the strength of your claim:

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1996

Biocontrol Complains to Congress About the FDA While Filing a New 510(k) for Non-Invasive Meter

Almost immediately after complaining to a congressional subcommittee that it was unfairly treated by the FDA during its first 510(k) submission, Biocontrol Technology, Inc. announced that it submitted a new revised 510(k) pre-market notification for its Diasensor 1000 non-invasive glucose sensor.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1996

June 1996

European Union Debates Regulating “Diabetic Foods”

The European Parliament continues to debate whether diabetic foods should be regulated by the government, according to recent Reuters reports. All countries in the European Union (EU) oppose such regulation, except Germany.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1996

April 1996

Olestra: The Fake Fat

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Procter & Gamble's "fake fat" product, olestra, as an additive to chips and other snack foods.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 1996

November 1995

New Drug For Type 2: Precose Gets FDA OK

Precose, a new oral drug from Bayer, was recently granted market clearance by the FDA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1995

No Policy Is Bad Policy: Schools Unprepared For Diabetes

A study conducted by Frances Migdol Melchionne, RN, in Towaco, N.J., discovered that 92% of the schools surveyed had no written policy for handling children with diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1995

September 1995

Who Gets That Pancreas? The FDA Wonders, Too

The Food and Drug Administration is beginning to worry about how to regulate cells and organs for transplant, something that has traditionally been left to doctors to decide.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1995

July 1995

New Drug For Type 2 Diabetes

The FDA recently approved a new drug that offers excellent benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Metformin, marketed under the name Glucophage by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is an oral medication for people with non-insulin dependent diabetes. Although metformin has been in use in other countries for over two decades, its approval in the United States has taken 38 years. An earlier form of the drug was removed from the market because it caused serious complications. Metformin has been observed in other countries and can be used with confidence by most people with diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1995

May 1995

Russian Diabetes Patients Face Insulin Shortage, Government Agencies Quarrel in-Dispute over Imported Insulin

A shortage of insulin is threatening millions of Russian diabetics, a Western news agency has said.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 1995

FAA Policy Challenged - ADA Says 'Let Us Fly!'

A long-standing policy of denying a pilot's license to any person with insulin-treated diabetes is being contested by people who feel that this is in direct contradiction of American Diabetes Association recommendations.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 1995

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