By: Scott M. King
Every November, we hear about NationalDiabetes Month. It is the one month out ofthe year when the mainstream media callattention to this epidemic that is sweepingour nation.
But what about the rest of the year?
I believe that we need to be made awareeach month of epidemics of any kind. That’sthe reason that I started this magazine—toraise awareness of this disease and to letyou know about all of the research andtechnology that can help you.
Iacocca Foundation Is Halfway There
One thing I would like to draw attention tothis National Diabetes Month is the fact thatthe Iacocca Foundation has raised over halfof its $11 million goal to replicate in humansDenise Faustman’s work for a type 1 cure.Iacocca made a call to arms in this magazinein August 2004 (“Spare $10 for a Diabetes Cure?”). In a letter this month to Diabetes Health, Iacocca writes, “The clinical trials being conducted by Dr. Nathan and Dr. Faustman are the best chance I’ve seen inmy 20 years of supporting diabetes research.I’ve never been more optimistic about thereality of a cure.”
I am proud that Diabetes Health has been acatalyst in helping the Iacocca Foundationraise the money for the clinical trials. I hopeall of you will send in your $10 check to theIacocca Foundation (www.JoinLeeNow.org)so we can get to work on the human trialsas soon as possible. Who knows—maybesomeday because of this research, we won’tneed to observe National Diabetes Monthanymore.
Inhaled Insulin Almost Here
As I write this column in late September,Pfizer, Inc., just received word that scientificadvisers had voted 7 to 2 to urge the U.S.Food and Drug Administration to approvePfizer’s inhalable insulin Exubera. We’vebeen hearing about inhalable insulin foryears, and data both positive and negativehave been published in these pages. It looksas if we are now on the cusp of possible FDAapproval [At press time, Exubera had notreceived FDA approval].
According to a September 9, 2005, Reutersreport, Paul Woolf, MD, the advisory panel’sacting chairman and an endocrinologist atCrozer Chester Medical Center in Upland,Pennsylvania, voted against approvingExubera “because he said he was notconvinced patients would get adequatetraining in how to use the insulin inhalerproperly.”
According to the article by Lisa Richwine,“Exubera’s approval has been held up overconcerns it might hamper lung function.”According to Pfizer and the FDA, “Exuberapatients were more likely to reportcoughing, but most cases were mild.”
Another advisory panel member who votedagainst approving Exubera, James Stoller,MD, a Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist,added, “While smokers or lung diseasepatients could be warned against takingExubera, many diabetics might haveundiagnosed lung problems.”
It will be interesting to see how manyinsulin users will throw down their needlesif Exubera is approved. Of course, DiabetesHealth will publish a full report on Exubera ifit is approved, and feedback from any of ourreaders taking it will be more than welcomein these pages. I am still undecided as towhether I will try it. I’ll keep you informed.
I hope you all have a terrific NationalDiabetes Month and a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Type 1, 31 years (and counting)
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