June and July have been very busy months in the diabetes world...
By Kelly Close
Welcome to the main event! Here at diaTribe, June is traditionally our busiest month due to the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions (simply known as "ADA"). The largest such event of the year, the conference features new products, new technologies, and the latest research. This year's meeting was no exception, drawing nearly 17,300 enthusiastic attendees from across the globe. The diaTribe team was fortunate to attend more than 100 presentations over five days.
For nurses, educators, and doctors, the craze can be difficult to navigate - but as patients, it can be even more difficult to understand which developments will be most relevant (and which could remain perpetually "on the drawing board"). In this issue, we hope to distill some of the best findings for you. Learning Curve breaks down three of the most attention-grabbing developments from ADA, including new research on the combination of GLP-1 therapy and long-acting insulin (potentially "the most powerful treatment for type 2 diabetes" we have), the results of the STAR-3 trial (which demonstrated one of the strongest A1c declines with diabetes technology ever), and a review of a highly anticipated new class of type 2 diabetes (and potentially even type 1 diabetes!) drugs, called the "SGLT-2 inhibitors." We also had the honor of speaking with a most admired researcher and clinician from the University of North Carolina, former ADA President Dr. John Buse - in this issue's diaTribe dialogue, he shares his opinions on the most exciting developments at ADA, the dire need to focus on prevention of diabetes, and the recent healthcare reform.
After ADA and before another conference we love, Children With Diabetes, I had the opportunity to participate in Roche's Social Media Summit for the second year in a row. I was honored that our role in writingdiaTribe (and our @diaTribeNews Tweets!) brought us an invitation. Kerri Morrone Sparling and I talked at length about the meeting, and what I see as our "collective take," which is reflected in this issue's SUM Musings(though authored entirely by our SUM correspondent!). I remain impressed and grateful that Roche is so interested in better understanding diabetes and making financial commitments to help patients improve their management.
Finally, we had the chance this month to spend three big days at the FDA meeting in Washington D.C. where an Advisory Panel of doctors talked about the risks of Avandia and discussed the approval of the weight-loss drug Qnexa. Please see New Now Next for our take on these and other important news updates from the month. While we were dismayed that Qnexa was not approved for at least a narrow population of individuals, we did have the unique chance to speak on behalf of patients during the public comment part of the hearing.
With ADA, FDA, and Children with Diabetes, there's no question that the summer has been hectic for all of us atdiaTribe. Yet we enter August with renewed enthusiasm for the future of diabetes care - we hope that the news and knowledge in this issue leaves you with that feeling as well.
Kelly L. Close