2012 in Review: Disappointment in the New Diabetes Product Market

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by R. Keith Campbell Rph, FAADE, CDE

Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 has a greater impact on those of us with diabetes than 2012. The past ten years, we have been blessed with the development of many new medications and devices that make it a bit easier to live with diabetes. For me, 2012 was quite disappointing since several important new classes of drugs to treat diabetes that many people thought would be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were NOT. I was especially disappointed that the FDA required more tests of an exciting product called Afrezza. It is an inhaled insulin product that is absorbed into the bloodstream very rapidly and broken down quickly. It will be a fantastic product once approved since diabetes patients can easily and conveniently inhale it as a bolus insulin. It will keep after meal blood glucose levels in check. The device is very small and easy to carry with you.

It was also expected that the FDA would approve a new class of drugs called SGLT2 Inhibitors, specifically dapaglifozin. This drug blocks the reabsorption of glucose from the kidney and allows glucose to be eliminated via the urine. This effect not only reduces blood sugar levels, but patients taking it lost weight on the drug.

A new basal or long-acting insulin was expected to be approved in late 2012, as well. It is called degludec (Tresiba). It is an excellent basal insulin and will compete with insulin glargine (Lantus). It should also be available in a U-200 strength and will also be available in a form that is pre-mixed with the rapid acting insulin Novolog.

Two drugs that were covered in an earlier blog for weight loss (Qysmia, Belviq) were approved in 2012. In addition, a medication to treat diabetic macular edema, Lucentis, was approved. Improvements in devices to self-monitor blood glucose as well as a new insulin pump were developed. Most importantly, the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) developed guidelines for treating type 2 diabetes that are patient-focused with guidelines to INDIVIDUALIZE treatments. If I were to grade the year overall, I would give 2012 a C+. Let's hope that we can rate 2013 with an A for improved options for diabetes patients.

About The Author
R. Keith Campbell RPh, FAADE, CDE is a leader in the field of diabetes, named the "Outstanding Health Care Educator in the Field of Diabetes in the U.S." by the American Diabetes Association, having published more than 650 articles, serving on numerous boards (including the American Association of Diabetes Educators), and co-developing the popular CADD ambulatory infusion pump.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of DiabetesProductSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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