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Straight Talk About Diabetes: More Tools Needed

Experts discuss devices, pills, and treatment strategies for diabetes.

During a panel discussion with other doctors and drug industry executives, William Herman, MD, made a statement that seemed pretty innocuous.

’I think the key to controlling diabetes is prevention.’

During a panel discussion with other doctors and drug industry executives, William Herman, MD, made a statement that seemed pretty innocuous.

But Dr. Herman, who is Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Michigan, also said that many healthcare insurance programs are simply not aligned with the end goals of treatment.

John Brooks, President and CEO of the Joslin Institute, agrees that such ’unintended consequences’ disincentivize patients to properly manage their conditions.

For example, when diabetes patients who have co-pays for eye exams forgo the exams, they’re cutting off a crucial means of monitoring the disease because an eye exam can show symptoms of diabetes. Not only can diabetes cause blindness but it is the leading cause of blindness in United States.

’I’m mad that we haven’t figured this out,’ adds James Young, MD, and Chair, Endocrinology.

In spite of the relative success of bariatric surgeries to reduce risks associated with diabetes, Dr. Young says it’s far easier to get a patient into heart surgery than it is to get a patient into bariatric surgery for diabetes treatment.

’There are too many hoops to jump through,’ he says.

What the panelists all seemed to agree on is that more tools ’ of all kinds ’ are needed to manage diabetes.

’I believe there is a role for technology to play,’ says Stu Randle, President and CEO of GI Dynamics. ’We need more therapies used in more combinations than we have today’ more collaborations in drugs and devices is where we need to go.’

Complicated disease requires collaborative approach

’Diabetes is always going to be with us,’ said Sandra MacRury, MD, Professor of Clinical Diabetes, University of the Highlands and the Islands. Dr. MacRury said about 10 percent of costs associated with diabetes in Ireland are due to complications, including heart disease and amputations.

More: http://medcitynews.com/2013/10/straight-talk-diabetes-tools-needed/

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