Diabetes Briefs

May 1, 1997

Insulin in a Pill?

Researchers at Brown University are working on a new drug delivery system that could eliminate the need for injections for insulin users. Using tiny polymer balls researchers are hoping to bypass the digestive juices in the stomach and intestines to enable orally administered insulin to be absorbed through the walls of the intestines. So far, success has been shown in delivering insulin and anti-coagulant drugs to rats using the polymers. The report, published in Nature, showed that insulin delivered in this fashion was absorbed by cells as soon as one hour after ingestion.

Not All in the Family

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, four out of five cases of type I diabetes occur in children who do not have diabetes in the family.

Acarbose - Not Just for Type 2s Anymore

Acarbose, when used in conjunction with diet and insulin therapy, has been shown to be effective for type Is for improving HbA1c levels and lowering rises in after-meal glucose levels. The medication was previously only used by type 2s.

A paper published in the March 1997 issue of Diabetes Care states acarbose can lower after-meal BGs by 59 mg/dL and can lower HbA1c levels by an average of .48%.

MiniMed Sells Stock

MiniMed Inc. filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell two million common shares of their stock. One million will be sold by the company and one million will be sold by stockholders. The offering will be made through UBS Securities, Dillon Read & Co. Inc., Hambrecht & Quist, and Smith Barney Inc.

Chronimed Confusion

Chronimed announced it has once again suspended shipment of its QuickCheck strips because of conflicts between its supplier Diagnostic Solutions Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration. Chronimed stock shares plummeted after the company's announcement.

Selfcare Sells Shares

Selfcare Inc. will sell 1,800,000 shares of its common stock at $10 per share. The offering is being made through an underwriting group managed by Lehman Brothers, Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. and A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc.

Gauging Obesity

New technology and measurement techniques have enabled researchers to understand the impact of visceral obesity on insulin resistance. Visceral obesity is the buildup of fat in the viscera - the hollow and multi-layered organs of the digestive, respiratory, urogenital and endocrine systems. According to a paper in the September 1996 Hormone and Metabolic Research, visceral obesity has a much stronger association with insulin resistance than regular physical obesity.

Revco Offers Cash Back

A new rebate program is being offered by Revco drug stores to people with diabetes. The Diagnostic Rebates Program will feature monthly rebate offers on metering products and other diabetes-related products such as needles, syringes and lancets. After purchasing an item at Revco locations on the East Coast or in the Midwest, the receipt will automatically register the rebate amount. Insulin and other medicines that require a prescription are not covered by the rebate program.

Canadians Find Insulin Gene

A diabetes research team in Montreal, Canada - funded in part by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International - has discovered the insulin gene that teaches the body not to attack the cells that produce insulin.

Healthmate Helps

A new software program designed to help people with diabetes keep blood sugars in check is on the market. The software can store more than a year's worth of health records and can be used to track responses to oral medications as well as insulin. The software, called Healthmate, can access a nutritional database of over 2,000 foods and compute carbohydrate and insulin requirements based on caloric intake. In addition, Healthmate can be used to plan injection rotation schedules.

Healthmate software can only be run on the Newton hand-held computer. The Newton has many of the same functions as PCs and Macs, including electronic mail and access to the Internet.

For more information, call (800) 792-2966 or visit the company's web site at www.meddatai.com.

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Syringes, Type 2 Issues, Type 2 Medications

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