Shouldn’t Every Month Be National Diabetes Month?
Every November, we hear about National Diabetes Month. It is the one month out of the year when the mainstream media call attention to this epidemic that is sweeping our nation.
But what about the rest of the year?
I believe that we need to be made aware each month of epidemics of any kind. That’s the reason that I started this magazine—to raise awareness of this disease and to let you know about all of the research and technology that can help you.
Iacocca Foundation Is Halfway There
One thing I would like to draw attention to this National Diabetes Month is the fact that the Iacocca Foundation has raised over half of its $11 million goal to replicate in humans Denise Faustman’s work for a type 1 cure. Iacocca made a call to arms in this magazine in August 2004 (“Spare $10 for a Diabetes Cure?”). In a letter this month to Diabetes Health, Iacocca writes, “The clinical trials being conducted by Dr. Nathan and Dr. Faustman are the best chance I’ve seen in my 20 years of supporting diabetes research. I’ve never been more optimistic about the reality of a cure.”
I am proud that Diabetes Health has been a catalyst in helping the Iacocca Foundation raise the money for the clinical trials. I hope all of you will send in your $10 check to the Iacocca Foundation ( www.JoinLeeNow.org) so we can get to work on the human trials as soon as possible. Who knows—maybe someday because of this research, we won’t need to observe National Diabetes Month anymore.
Inhaled Insulin Almost Here
As I write this column in late September, Pfizer, Inc., just received word that scientific advisers had voted 7 to 2 to urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve Pfizer’s inhalable insulin Exubera. We’ve been hearing about inhalable insulin for years, and data both positive and negative have been published in these pages. It looks as if we are now on the cusp of possible FDA approval [At press time, Exubera had not received FDA approval].
According to a September 9, 2005, Reuters report, Paul Woolf, MD, the advisory panel’s acting chairman and an endocrinologist at Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania, voted against approving Exubera “because he said he was not convinced patients would get adequate training in how to use the insulin inhaler properly.”
According to the article by Lisa Richwine, “Exubera’s approval has been held up over concerns it might hamper lung function.” According to Pfizer and the FDA, “Exubera patients were more likely to report coughing, but most cases were mild.”
Another advisory panel member who voted against approving Exubera, James Stoller, MD, a Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist, added, “While smokers or lung disease patients could be warned against taking Exubera, many diabetics might have undiagnosed lung problems.”
It will be interesting to see how many insulin users will throw down their needles if Exubera is approved. Of course, Diabetes Health will publish a full report on Exubera if it is approved, and feedback from any of our readers taking it will be more than welcome in these pages. I am still undecided as to whether I will try it. I’ll keep you informed.
I hope you all have a terrific National Diabetes Month and a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Type 1, 31 years (and counting)
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