Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season for cocktail parties, and roundups of this closing year, no? I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed about attempting “the roundup” this year, so I decided to ask you to get involved. To me, it appears that if 2007 is remembered for anything, it will be as the birth of Health 2.0, the growth of Social Media and its conjunction with health and healthcare supplies on the web. For diabetes particularly, product design required the spotlight for the first time, while a few medications were spectacular failures.
LET’S WRITE THIS ONE TOGETHER…
Below are my personal observations about which was Big in Diabetes for 2007. I am thinking that many of you out there in the Diabetes Community have your own take on what was big in diabetes this year. Just how about you share your remarks on launches, phenomena, treatments, tendencies, bloopers & outtakes — you name it — under? Until we struck 2008 I’ll continue to update this article with your comments. What state?
Making Pharma History.
2007 was a year. At a $2.8 billion loss, Exubera made its mark as one of the priciest flops in the background of the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer spent about $370 million this year on promotion alone, financing everything from CDE and physician training, to prime-time TV spots. Lesson learned: Before you invest billions in a product that will benefit very few individuals, you would better do your homework and talk to your customers first!
Avandia came in at a close second, making history as one of the most controversial and potentially harmful blockbuster drugs ever pushed through the system. It has had a massive ripple effect, even to the point of possibly contributing to some slow-down in pharma innovation, some observers state.
Byetta continued to select the diabetes world by storm this year, especially with the debut of its new long-acting release (LAR) version that’s showing unparalleled A1c effects in sufferers. “LAR continues to seem like a $3 billion-plus vendor in our heads as no other diabetes drugs — or on the horizon — comes close to lowering A1c as efficiently combined with the weight loss profile, which probably gets better in longer-term studies,” says Jim Reddoch, an analyst with the high profile firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co..
Meanwhile, Merck’s Januvia may take the prize as the most talked-about oral diabetes medication of this year, with both experts and sufferers duking it out over its comparative effectiveness and security. Countless people find their way here to DiabetesMine.com each day by searching the internet for the term “Januvia” (!)
Pushing the Envelope.
Despite some grumblings to the contrary, invention in diabetes R&D made some fantastic strides this year. A number of research proved the favorable effects of new ultrafast insulins — including Biodel’s Viaject and Sanofi’s Apidra. Microneedle spots for insulin delivery, from companies like Ingenta, also showed very promising results in research this year.
For Type 1’s in particular, 2007 was about “the steady increase and implementation” of continuous glucose monitors. Included in this JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas project, Yale researchers have successfully tested an artificial pancreas created by Medtronic in a small group of teens with type 1 disease, according to US News & World Report. Still, some notable diabetes doctors think the CGM marketplace is “growing too slowly and reimbursement denials are criminal.” Amen. Regardless of the establishment of official HCPCS codes (insurance codes) for CGM, policy by your health program is far from guaranteed.
“The (CGM) programs are far from perfect, but they’ve saved countless people from severe lows and harmful highs, and gave us a valuable instrument in the quest for glycemic equilibrium,” CDE and writer Gary Scheiner opinions to me.
1 place where we actually pushed the envelope this year was product design. I’m proud to report that my “Open Letter to Steve Jobs,” calling on the professional of consumer design to assist update medical product design, echoed off the walls. Before long, the issue was appearing in BusinessWeek along with also the UK Guardian and BrandWeek, and one design firm in particular decided to take action to get the business’s creative juices flowing. We, the Patient Community, were finally able to speak out loud and clear regarding how significant product design is in devices that we wear and live with 24/7.
Piercing the Public Consciousness.
Many consider that 2007 was “watershed” for diabetes because of this alone: “Diabetes is becoming part of this federal debate and individuals are starting to realize that we have a critical problem and things need to change.”
Certainly Mike Huckabee’s candidacy (like him or not), and nationwide awareness campaigns such as the Know that your A1c effort in the Diabetes Care Coalition have helped to sear diabetes into the American consciousness. The UN Resolution on “Uniting for Diabetes,” and the 2007 World Diabetes Day occasions, light up iconic landmarks worldwide, grabbed media attention everywhere to help “bring the entire world together around diabetes” Now it remains to be seen what the Powers That Be will take action about it in 2008.
Social Media: Taking Flight.
As noted, 2007 marks the take-off of Health 2.0, in which Web 2.0 interactive online performance meets health and healthcare. Suddenly, patients using the web to learn about or handle their wellness are taking centre stage.
Health on the internet is so hot, in actuality, that VC (venture capitalist) money is flowing nearly like back in the old days of the Internet bubble — but with greater business plans behind the websites this moment, presumably. For a sampling, see these 38 brand new wellness web sites. Especially for diabetes, only some of the tools include:
What is actually changing the landscape, of course, are new Social Media websites for patients — blogs, wikis, podcasts, and full-featured networks such as TuDiabetes that give people a place to congregate and share their knowledge and concerns. These websites give the patient community a collective voice that they never could have dreamed of before. And our collective voice is making waves. Witness the call for enhanced product design, cited above, and additionally the hypoglycemia instance of Mr. Universe, Doug Burns. An outraged patient community talked out, and also the trumped-up charges were abruptly dropped. Lesson learned: Social networking on the internet actually CAN make a difference in “real life.”
Here At Home.
As you know, I had been an insulin pumper this year. And never-say-never, but I am feeling as though I’ll never to go back to injections if can avoid it. Insulet’s OmniPod has succeeded in “making diabetes a smaller part of life” because of me. Obviously, it is not perfect, since I am not perfect. Managing diabetes remains a $#%@! Bothersome challenge, thus I continue to write 🙂
In reality, I penned my 30th Straight Up pillar to get dLife this month. I also a invested a fantastic part of 2007 exploring the field of Diabetes Education, and also what can be done to remedy the crisis it’s facing. I learned a ton — and created a few people mad along the way — but “blowing the whistle” was never a popular job.
DiabetesMine.comreach the Top 10 in the World’s Greatest Blogs in Health & Medicine about the Healthcare 100 Index. We started an internet newsletter support so readers may follow the site directly from their own inboxes if they so desire. I even hosted the T-shirt giveaway competition, and had a little fun with a brand new category called Monday Madness. Share yours 😉
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Now it is your turn…
*** UPDATE 12/25 ***
Thank you, everybody, for your excellent input on the highlights of 2007. To summarize briefly, not to be missed this year:
* The Photo Projects: Diabetes Made Visible, Manny’s Word in the Hand competition, along with the Diabetes365 Project started by Beth, all attracting life with diabetes “to life” around the web, with about 1,500 pictures posted on the latter to date.
* About the CGM front, duly noticed that Dexcom, the first continuous monitor to obtain FDA approval, now has its 2nd production merchandise available on the market, and also the 3rd generation rendition is currently in clinical trials.
* Offline, several leadings CDE’s brought my attention to the increased recognition of the importance of
A patient-centered approach to diabetes care from the Powers That Be. “That is evidenced by the
Posts in Diabetes Forecast, the maturation of the Chat Maps teaching system from the American Diabetes Association, the new Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education published by the ADA and AADE,” instructor Martha Funnell writes to me. In any case, we have turned the spotlight on improving diabetes education across the board.
* Keep your eyes peeled for Scott S’s roundup, including what he believes significant measures toward a treatment — “Teva’s Diapep 277 drug, Eli Lilly’s treat MacroGenics, Inc. to commercialize teplizumab, a humanized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, along with other potential next generation anti-CD3 molecules for use in treating autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes.”
Got more to add? Feel free to post your input under.
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