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21th Annual Shooting Stars JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Sunday, October 23, 2016 in Newport Beach, CA at The Waffle House

For a contribution of $50 (or MORE!), walkers will receive a VERY COOL Shooting Stars Team T-Shirt while supplies last. Contact Joanne if you are interested in attending the event. joanne@TheSavvyDiabetic.com. To donate on-line, please go to: http://tinyurl.com/z5c2x8e.

Savvy about PBMs: Are They Causing Prices to Skyrocket?

Here a most interesting overview of prescription benefit managers (PBMs), which drug companies fear now, but consumer advocates might grow to fear, which appeared in InsulinNation, by Jim Cahill, a senior writer for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation. Before turning to writing, he was a lawyer in government and private practice who focused on consumer protection and regulatory law. He can be contacted at jcahill@epscomm.com. Here are some excerpts:
PBMs are organizations commonly understood to be the “middle men” in the chain of distribution of prescription drugs and medical devices from the manufacturers to the places where those products are dispensed or purchased through an insurance carrier or a prescription purchase plan. They are also considered the organizations to which health insurance carriers outsource claims administration. The Medicare program relies on private insurance carriers, under long-term national and regional contracts, to pay out benefits and make available purchase of prescription drugs at discount for Part C and often deeper discount for Part D beneficiaries. The carriers in turn rely upon PBMs to secure long-term commercial agreements with drug manufacturers to ensure that there will be an adequate supply of products for their policy holders and for the people they insure under their Medicare contracts, at prices predictable enough that the carriers can plan to stay in business. Some PBMs also manage prescription drug claims and pricing agreements for labor union benefit plans and workers’ compensation insurance carriers.
PBMs maintain that their role in managing the U.S. prescription drug distribution business is to make it more efficient by reducing the transaction costs associated with each step from the factory to the drug store counter. It would make sense that de-fragmenting the pipeline from prescription drug manufacturer […]

“Have I Got A Cure for You?!” Learn to Spot Scams!

They are out there!  People and publications singing the praises of The Cure and The Best Food and the The Only Exercise You Need!  What about the “supplement” sold through network marketing (used to be called multi-level marketing – you get 2 sellers, they each get 2 sellers, and so on and you make millions off of your “downline”)? Now really!?  If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS!

 

 

One of my family members was involved with a product years ago that “cured”, among many illnesses and conditions, diabetes.  I went to a meeting (more like a rally) where everyone was touting the miracle of this potassium supplement.  I was totally stunned, after having lived with T1 for, at that time, about 25 years.  I kept asking various “marketers” to simply introduce me to 3 people how had been cured of Type 1 diabetes.  Their response, “There are so many!  Just try it and you will be cured too!”  I replied, “NO, please INTRODUCE me to THREE people!”  They couldn’t. Unbelievable! Read more about KM:  Km (by Matol) “Christian” Cure-All or New Age Medicine?

And the scams and claims continue.  On this website, I just received the following (edited to remove contact info):
Thanks to Lord Alaglo for helping me cure my Diabetes Millitus, I had the disease for more than 2 years and it really ate me up because it was already worsening to Chronic Kidney Failure. I tried to get a cure from different sources but none could cure my diabetes. My husband took me to so many other places and hospitals to get cure but all could not yield any good results, until I saw some few comments about the Unique Lord […]

Savvy Humor: Top 12 Things Dr. Banting May OR May Not Have Said

The Diabetes Hero Squad, also known as the GlucoseMeterDuo, also known as Slaight Brad (Dee Hero) on Facebook brings humor every day in the online community.  Sometimes I just laugh out loud.  You can follow him on FB … here’s a little sample … ENJOY!

 

By |November 20th, 2016|Extra|2 Comments

Savvy Update, 11.20.2016: Global D Cost, Insurance under Trump, New T1 Name? Breathalyzer,

So much news, all before Thanksgiving!

 

The Global Cost of Diabetes was reported by Martin Armstrong, 14 November 2016 on Statista.com.
To mark World Diabetes Day, November 16, 2016, the Statista infographic looked at the global cost of diabetes in 2015 and International Diabetes Federation projections for 2040 (assuming it is not yet cured!).

 

 
Around the world last year, $672 billion was spent on healthcare to combat the ever-more prevalent disease. By 2040, this figure is forecast to rise to $803 billion with the largest share of expenditure in North America and the Caribbean. Currently, 1 in 11 adults around the globe have diabetes, making a total of around 415 million.
WHERE’S THE CURE?????
PERSPECTIVE: Maintaining Insurance Access under Trump – A Strategy was presented by Michael Sparer, 16 November 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Donald Trump’s election as President puts the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in jeopardy. Full repeal is unlikely, given a probable filibuster by Senate Democrats, but major changes through the budget reconciliation process (which cannot be filibustered) are nearly certain. At the same time, eliminating insurance coverage for the millions of people now aided by the ACA carries its own political risks for the new administration. Complicating matters further is growing concern even among ACA supporters about the long-term viability of many of the insurance exchanges, through which more than 10 million people currently purchase private coverage (typically with federal subsidies). Several commercial insurers are either exiting or scaling back their participation in these marketplaces, and many smaller nonprofit insurers have shut their doors. One study predicts that 35% of U.S. communities will soon have only one available exchange insurance option.
“A better idea, I believe, and one that could conceivably […]

Savvy Update of DiabetesMine Innovation Summit 2016

I’ve been so lucky to attend the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit for the past 2 years … and I learn something new every time.

 

I just wanted to share with you the DiabetesMine Challenges Matrix developed by Amy Tenderich, founder of DiabetesMine.

The DIABETESMINE CHALLENGES MATRIX™ is a new way of mapping the diabetes care landscape with a focus on the needs of people with diabetes (PWDs) and their caregivers. The Matrix aims to create a systematic new method for monitoring the impact of diabetes offerings in the United States in terms of patient needs, along the axes of IMPACT and ACCESS – the two most critical factors in any offering (product or program) that’s meant to help patients best manage their diabetes.

In essence, the Matrix creates a “scorecard” for the patient community to rate all the available diabetes tools and services.

In Amy’s Summary/Call to Action, she includes a design axiom, “Do More of What Works.”

In the interest of making the tools and services offered to patients the best they can be, we urge vendors to:

Take a Systems Approach: Remember that each product / service is part of the larger diabetes equation
Think IMPACT & ACCESS rather than brand loyalty & “Engagement” via Marketing
Keep in mind: It’s all about the real‐life Usability Experience!

Here the link to read the report.  Feel free to share any thoughts or comments.

DiabetesMine Challenges Matrix

 

Google and Dr. Banting’s Birthday TODAY!

Happy Birthday and MANY THANKS, Dr. Frederick Banting!  Today would have been your 125th birthday and we all owe you a great debt of appreciation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go to Google’s home page today, here is what you will see:

 

 

 

 

 

If you click on the image, you will be directed to a listing about Dr. Banting:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more great articles, thanks to Craig Idlebrook of InsulinNation, go to:

Dr. Banting: Called a Failure, Discovers Insulin
Five Little-Known Facts About Dr. Frederick Banting
Selling a Lifetime of Insulin for $3
Dr. Frederick Banting in Film

 

 

 

 

 

Savvy Politics: Trump and Diabetes Coverage

I get calls and emails from the T1 community … amidst a lot of fear and anger and anxiety.  I absolutely do not have answers.  But I’d like to pass along what I’m reading, thanks to Craig Idlebrook’s www.InsulinNation.com.

Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2 major issues to those of us in the T1 community:

Will any new plan, under the Trump administration, cover pre-existing conditions like diabetes;
Will any new plan for healthcare covering pre-existing conditions bee too expensive.  However, even with the current ACA, the recent price hikes for premiums already are putting the plans out of reach for many.

Here’s a very concise narrative from InsulinNation:
Donald Trump will be working with a Congress controlled by Republicans, as the GOP has won the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 2016 elections. Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal the ACA since its passage in 2009, so they will try to do so again under a Trump administration. In a Politico report, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) said this week that repealing Obamacare was “pretty high on the agenda”.
However, scrapping Obamacare will probably not be a short process. That’s because Republicans did not gain a supermajority in the Senate which could prevent Democrats there from blocking efforts to alter Obamacare. Democrats could, in theory, filibuster to prevent action on most bills, and Republicans would need 60 votes to end a filibuster; if everyone voted along party lines, the filibuster would not be defeated. This means that, for the moment, Republicans can’t repeal ACA completely unless they put forth a plan that would appeal to at least some Senate Democrats.
This doesn’t mean that Republicans are stuck, however. They could choose […]

MyGlu’s Project Alcohol: How to Drink and Stay Safe with Type 1 Diabetes

According to Jane Dickinson, a CDE and a Program Coordinate and Adjunct Associate Professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, “The biggest challenge with alcohol and diabetes is hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) later on. This can happen because the liver is busy detoxing, or breaking down, the alcohol and can’t help out by releasing stored glucose as needed. It’s worth noting that low blood sugars can occur many hours AFTER you drink – which can lead to lows overnight or even into the next day.”

 

Here’s MyGLU’s excellent 2-page on T1 and alcohol:  MyGLU: Did You Know Series: ALCOHOL

 

A T1 Wife’s PhotoEssay on Life with her T1 Husband

Please meet Anne Marie Moran, an Alaskan (former Chicagoan) photographer, married to Tom, an ER nurse and a T1.  As Anne Marie says, “I believe photography is one of the most powerful mediums for storytelling and I dig deep to really get to know my subjects and honor their stories.”

Some beautiful and real comments by Anne Marie:

Life with Type 1 is a perpetual, exhausting tightrope act.
Tempering my anxiety over Tom’s disease while being a supportive (but not overbearing) partner is something I work at on a daily basis.
All this being said, to know Tom is to know the happiest guy on the planet. I marvel at his strength, his commitment to his health (particularly when it’s not easy, which is most of the time), his childlike joy for life. His absolute refusal to give in to bitterness. Every single day with Tom is filled with adventure and belly laughs. Yes, Type 1 is always there, looming, but never able to define him. He won’t let it.

“Documenting life with Type 1 has been cathartic for me, and I hope can bring some awareness (however small) to the plight of all Type 1 diabetics and their families. ”

Here are just a few of her amazing photographs.

For more:

Life with Type 1 by Anne Marie Moran
And thanks to www.InsulinNation,com to spotlighting Anne Marie: A photographer chronicles her husband’s quiet dignity

A small tattoo on Tom’s right forearm with big meaning. It’s an homage to his lifeblood; C257H383N65O77S6 is the chemical formula for the synthetic insulin he has taken for the majority of his life.

 

Savvy Updates: 11/8/2016: Inflammation, Other Autoimmune Diseases, Dual Hormone vs. Single Hormone AP, Alere being BAD, Stress & BG, 75 year T1

Here are your Savvy Updates, 8 November 2016
 

The Cause of Inflammation in Diabetes Identified, according to Science News, 2 November, 2016.

Inflammation is one of the main reasons why people with diabetes experience heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and other, related complications. Now, in a surprise finding, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a possible trigger of chronic inflammation.

 
Too much fat in the diet promotes insulin resistance by spurring chronic inflammation. In the image above, immune cells (shown in green) produce fatty acids that contribute to diabetes-related inflammation. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have developed a way to block production of fatty acids in these immune cells in mice and protect them from diet-induced diabetes.  (Credit: Semenkovich lab/ Washington University)
Too much fat in the diet promotes insulin resistance by spurring chronic inflammation. But the researchers discovered, in mice, that when certain immune cells can’t manufacture fat, the mice don’t develop diabetes and inflammation, even when consuming a high-fat diet.
“The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide over the last 20 years,” said senior investigator Clay F. Semenkovich, the Irene E. and Michael M. Karl Professor and director of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research at the School of Medicine. “We have made modest progress in making it less likely for some people with diabetes to have heart attacks and strokes. However, those receiving optimal therapy are still much more likely to die from complications driven by chronic inflammation that is, at least in part, generated by these immune cells.
“But by blocking the production of fat inside these cells, it may be possible to prevent inflammation in people with diabetes and even in other conditions, […]