from the editor
Jim Hirsch wrote an incredible logbook in last month’s diaTribe about James D. Ward, a prisoner struggling to control his type 1 diabetes while in prison. Many of you have mentioned how moved you were by James’ situation, and we’d like to help change his care – can you help us? We have drafted a petition that asks for James to be given insulin before he eats, not three hours later as is the prison’s current standard. With the standard of care he is receiving in prison at this time, Jim Ward is at increased risk of accelerated development of diabetes complications. Click here to sign the petition (it only takes a couple seconds) and thank you for taking the time to positively impact the life of one other person with diabetes.
Last month, I also told you about our latest diaTribe survey and asked for your participation. And boy, did you ever participate! Thousands responded to our request, and the feedback was truly humbling – 73% of respondents said diaTribe has improved the quality of their life over the last year, and 83% said we helped them understand their condition better and be more informed when dealing with their physicians. That was wonderful to hear, but that wasn’t our main takeaway from the survey. You gave us many great ideas on how we might improve diaTribe, and over the next few months we’re going to start implementing them.
For instance, many respondents expressed a desire to read more about diabetes complications. I’m pleased to say that this issue’s new now next has two important updates on this topic. This past month saw the FDA approval of Lucentis for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, a complication that affects over half a million people. Lucentis is the first drug ever approved by the FDA to specifically treat this condition – the only option previously was laser therapy – and we’ve tried to sort through some of the biggest questions about just how physicians and insurers will react to the introduction of this new (though unfortunately expensive) treatment. The FDA also gave clearance to NeuroMetrix’s pain management device Sensus, which uses low-intensity electrical impulses to relieve the chronic pains of diabetic neuropathy. And for the latest strategies to prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and to prevent complications in the first place (or potentially reduce their progression), be sure to give this month’s conference pearls a read.
While the newest treatments and advice can surely help, patient advocacy also has an important role to play. That’s a big part of our mission statement here at diaTribe, but individuals can get involved in many ways to make things better – a focus of this month’s sum musings. Kerri’s ideas aren’t just about the big things that we typically picture when we think of advocacy, such as fundraising and lobbying the FDA and our elected officials – although there’s plenty of room for all that! – but they’re also about the seemingly little things that can have a huge impact, even if it’s just in the life of one other person.