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Category Archives: Diabetes

And With A Stroke of The Pen The U.S. Joins The Civilized World

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Via Whitehouse: This morning the President made it official: things are going to change quite a bit between Americans and their health insurance companies.  The President signed health reform into law, with a package of fixes not far behind, and in the process created a future for the country in which Americans and small businesses are in control of their own health care, not the insurance industry.

Having expressed all due admiration for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Leader Harry Reid, and those Members of Congress who showed the courage to stand up to an avalanche of misinformation and insurance industry attacks, the President explained what the signing was really about:

Today, I’m signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.

I’m signing it for Ryan Smith, who’s here today.  He runs a small business with five employees.  He’s trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers.  This bill will help him afford that coverage.

I’m signing it for 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who’s also here.  (Applause.)  Marcelas lost his mom to an illness.  And she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed.  So in her memory he has told her story across America so that no other children have to go through what his family has experienced.  (Applause.)

I’m signing it for Natoma Canfield.  Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent.  She was terrified that an illness would mean she’d lose the house that her parents built, so she gave up her insurance.  Now she’s lying in a hospital bed, as we speak, faced with just such an illness, praying that she can somehow afford to get well without insurance.  Natoma’s family is here today because Natoma can’t be.  And her sister Connie is here.  Connie, stand up.  (Applause.)

I’m signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations — from Teddy Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, from Harry Truman, to Lyndon Johnson, from Bill and Hillary Clinton, to one of the deans who’s been fighting this so long, John Dingell.  (Applause.)  To Senator Ted Kennedy.  (Applause.)  And it’s fitting that Ted’s widow, Vicki, is here — it’s fitting that Teddy’s widow, Vicki, is here; and his niece Caroline; his son Patrick, whose vote helped make this reform a reality.  (Applause.)

I remember seeing Ted walk through that door in a summit in this room a year ago — one of his last public appearances.  And it was hard for him to make it.  But he was confident that we would do the right thing.

Our presence here today is remarkable and improbable.  With all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game-playing that passes for governing in Washington, it’s been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing; to wonder if there are limits to what we, as a people, can still achieve.  It’s easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what’s possible in this country.

But today, we are affirming that essential truth -– a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself –- that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations.  (Applause.)  We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust.  We don’t fall prey to fear.  We are not a nation that does what’s easy.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not how we got here.

We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities.  We are a nation that does what is hard.  What is necessary.  What is right.  Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny.  That is what we do.  That is who we are.  That is what makes us the United States of America.

And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.  (Applause.)  And it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country.

So, thank you.  Thank you.  God bless you, and may God bless the United States.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

All right, I would now like to call up to stage some of the members of Congress who helped make this day possible, and some of the Americans who will benefit from these reforms.  And we’re going to sign this bill.

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Posted by on March 23, 2010 in Diabetes, Health, Political

 

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JDRF Announces Diabetes Research Collaboration with Pfizer, Hadassah Medical Organization, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Program Focuses on Beta Cell Replication and Regeneration

Contact:           William Ahearn, (212) 479-7531                 Joana Casas, (212) 479-7560

NEW YORK, March 22, 2010 – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, said today that it will begin a diabetes research collaboration with Pfizer, Hadassah Medical Organization, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on drugs to replicate and regenerate insulin-producing cells in people with type 1 diabetes.

The program, under the direction of Professor Benjamin Glaser (Hadassah Medical) and Dr. Yuval Dor (Department of Developmental Biology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) at The Hebrew University), and in collaboration with scientists from Pfizer PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development, is jointly funded by JDRF and Pfizer.

The research team will focus on the preclinical evaluation of certain proprietary Pfizer compounds as candidates to promote beta cell replication and regeneration. Drugs that can stimulate beta cell replication and expand beta cell mass have potential as disease-modifying agents for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes.

The collaboration aims to provide a comprehensive biological characterization of the Pfizer compounds’ potential beneficial effect on beta cell health and survival, building on unique beta cell regeneration models created by Dr. Dor and funded in part by JDRF.

"Drugs that can stimulate the replication of insulin-producing cells and expand beta cell mass have the potential to reverse type 1 diabetes," said Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF.  "This program may accelerate one of JDRF’s key research goals: to find ways to restore the body’s ability to make insulin."

"With this collaboration, Pfizer, Hadassah Medical Organization, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the JDRF are creating a unique model for how clinical and biomedical scientists in industry and academia, in collaboration with non-profit organizations, can work together for the benefit of patients." said Tim Rolph, PhD., Vice President of Pfizer’s Cardiovascular Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases Research. "Each group brings to the table its specific set of skills and expertise to address complex problems that each alone would take much longer to solve."

"We are very excited about this program and the close collaboration with JDRF and Pfizer," said Dr. Dor. "Ben Glaser and myself have put considerable efforts in recent years into understanding the basic mechanisms by which the total number of beta cells in healthy adult organisms is regulated, and what triggers the formation of new beta cells when demand exceeds supply. With this new project we are given a chance to examine if our insights can be utilized, using clinically relevant drugs supplied by Pfizer, for boosting beta cell mass in healthy and diabetic mice."

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Diabetes, Health

 

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Research Ties Diabetes Drug Avandia to Heart Woes – GlaxoSmithKline Rejects Findings

A bipartisan multiyear Senate investigation — whose results are expected to be released publicly on Monday, and was obtained by The New York Times today— sharply criticizes GlaxoSmithKline, saying it failed to warn patients years earlier that Avandia® was potentially deadly.

“…, G.S.K. executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia® may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk,” concludes the report, which was overseen by Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

Mr. Baucus said of the report, “Patients trust drug companies with their health and their lives, and GlaxoSmithKline abused that trust.”

avandia-logo Avandia® was once one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world. Driven in part by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, sales were $3.2 billion in 2006.

The drug, known as ROSIGLITAZONE (roe si GLI ta zone), is an oral tablet that helps to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to control blood sugar. Treatment is typically combined with diet and exercise.

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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in Diabetes, Health

 

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Test of "Artificial Pancreas" Offers Type 1 Diabetics Hope

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) said last month it was teaming up with U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson’s unit Animas, which makes insulin pumps, and DexCom Inc, which makes continuous glucose monitoring devices, to develop and test an artificial pancreas system in Type 1 diabetics.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in regulating how the body converts sugar (glucose) into energy. People with type 1 diabetes need to take daily insulin shots and carefully monitor their blood glucose levels.

Type 1 diabetes is less common that type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes can occur at any age, but usually first develops in childhood or adolescence. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 – 10% of all diabetes cases.

The Cambridge study, published in The Lancet medical journal on Friday, used devices and sensors from Smiths Medical, a unit of Smiths Group, Abbott Diabetes Care, a unit of Abbott Laboratories, and Medtronic.

ArtificialPancreas768951_thumb4 The ultimate goal is to create a device that can check patients blood day and night, during and between meals, and deliver insulin as required.

The Cambridge study found their device performed better than a conventional pump, which delivers insulin at pre-set rates and which kept blood sugar levels around normal for 40 percent of the time compared with 60 percent for the artificial pancreas.

This is of particular interest to parents of small children. "Many parents are up every night to test their child’s blood sugar, and many live with the fear that their child won’t wake up in the morning," said Aaron j. Kowalski of the juvenile diabetes research foundation, stressing that the device helps lower nighttime hypoglycemic attacks.

Apart from hypoglycemic attacks, insulin stacking — a condition which occurs after children go to bed after eating a large evening meal — was less frequent in children, who used the new device.

"This is an important step forward in managing overnight blood glucose levels as well as in the eventual development of a full ‘artificial pancreas’ which could vastly improve the quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes and reduce the risk of the associated complications," said research manager Victoria King.

SOURCE: ‘Artificial Pancreas’ a Step Nearer for Children With Type 1 Diabetes

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Posted by on February 6, 2010 in Diabetes, Health

 

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