A lot of zeros.

Stephen draws attention to an important issue for the #DOC, the cost of insulin.

Diabetes Blog -

Like many, I’ve seen and heard the recent NPR story:
Why is insulin so expensive in the U.S.?

The story is based on research from Dr. Jeremy Greene from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (still trying to get an interview), where he is a professor of medicine and history of medicine. He did some research on the history and cost of insulin, and published his findings in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The truth is, we all know insulin is very expensive here. And we all have our own opinions on why we think insulin is expensive here (where are the generics?). After reading a few of these stories this week (because diabetes stories with an impact aren’t reported for months, then the same story is reported by everyone in a few days), and then reading comments below each piece, I started to become overwhelmed.

Partly, it…

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Moving sale!

Man running along road, with mountain to left and sun setting
New roads ahead

Diabetes Free Press has a new site,

A few weeks ago, I decided to move the site to a self-hosted site, and I’ve spent the time since then trying to get some of the kinks out. Some kinks remain, but some I have a few interesting posts. So if you’ve liked what I’ve done here, you should like the new site.

Here are a few headlines to encourage you to click on over:

Please visit the new site and let me know what you think. Leave a comment or write me at

This site will be around for a while, if only to give me a playground to test out new themes. Eventually, it’ll have a redirect to the self-hosted site.

Photo credit: Joshua Sortino


I now pronounce you man and disease
New York man marries his diabetes

“Making my vows again to my diabetes I had a real and deep sense of commitment and renewal. Saying them out loud in front of a group of people, some of whom are my oldest friends, made me feel tremendously supported.”



Two Minute Diabetes  Advocacy: CGM Medicare is Back and FDA Goodness

          This is an important issue that all D’s, Type 1 or Type 2, should support.


708615_95129272It takes two minutes to make a difference for people with diabetes. Here’s the latest on how you can help.

CGM Medicare Bill: It’s Back!

Want the back story? It’s here.

Right now, Medicare does not cover CGM devices, leaving seniors with diabetes without access to this technology. Among the most important goals of our advocacy and education efforts is to ensure that those entering the Medicare program at age 65 do not experience disruption in their diabetes management. (None of us with diabetes is getting younger. If you are, please let me know your secret!) I don’t want a single person to be denied coverage of this device simply because of their age (or any other reason for that matter, but first things first, right?) and we have an opportunity to make a difference for our entire community.

Remember that this bill will also help when artificial pancreas technology…

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The lifetime cost of Type 2 diabetes in the United States is $283,000, making the U.S. the most expensive nation to live with the disease, according to research conducted by the University of East Anglia.

The research, led by Till Seuring, found that in high-income countries, like the U.S., the cost burden mainly falls on government or health insurance budgets.

But in low- and middle-income countries, a large part of the burden falls on the person with diabetes and their family due to very limited health insurance coverage, Seuring said. And two-thirds of new Type 2 diabetes cases are being reported in middle-income countries — such as Mexico, India, China and Egypt.

The UEA research was published in PharmacoEconomics, drawing on 109 studies assessing the economic effects of Type 2 diabetes around the world. Medical News Today reported on the study.

Said Seuring:

Our findings underline the fact that diabetes not only has strong adverse effects on people’s health but also presents a large – and at least partly avoidable – economic burden.

For both rich and poor countries, the results mean that better prevention and management of diabetes has the potential to not only bring good health but also economic gains.



Treating ‘all this other stuff’

Here’s a story that’s only tangentially related to diabetes. It’s from the Minneapolis Star Tribune describing the Essentia Institute of Rural Health. Part of the story talks about a young boy whose diabetes was worsening.

The specialist was a two-hour drive away, and his mother lacked financial and cooking skills. Essentia got the mom counseling and arranged telemedicine consults with a diabetes clinic.

Said Dr. Joe Bianco, who oversees Essentia’s primary care practice”

“We treated his blood sugars not with medicines — we treated them by dealing with all of this other stuff.”

If you have any interest in rural communities, the Affordable Care Act or even health care in general, the story is worth a read. Think about how Essentia solved the problems surrounding this boy’s worsening condition and ponder what our communities ought to be doing.

I doubt anyone reading this has any doubt of the crisis facing us concerning diabetes or obesity. Maybe some intervenor — a doctor, an insurance company, someone — also should be thinking about treating “all of this other stuff.”


Don’t hold your breath on ‘smart insulin’

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently revealed that mouse studies of “smart insulin” showed promise. The smart insulin would activate only when needed. And folks, understandably, are excited about the prospects of managing diabetes with just a single shot.

InsulinNation has an interview with the MIT researchers, and the timing of human trials could be a long way off.

Dr. Matthew Webber, a co-author for the study, said:

“These things are very difficult, I think. It could be anywhere from a few years to a few decades or never.”

Yes … he said “never.”


A bit a joy in a time of sorrow

“The Egg Crack Challenge has really been a great thing for us getting through this. It’s a bit of joy in a time of sorrow. We all need to try to help cure this disease.”

Lyndall Hauver, mother of Will Hauver

Will Hauver was a Rollins College student who launched the “Egg Crack Challenge” last year. The challenge was much like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS; people were challenged to crack eggs on their head in the name of raising money for diabetes research. Will Hauver died in February.

The quote appeared in David Lauderdale column in the Island Packet, a newspaper serving Hilton Head, S.C.

Lauderdale himself took the Egg Crack Challenge. Here’s the video: 

News, Uncategorized

Apple leads 11,000 to cardiovascular study

Eleven thousand Apple iPhone owners signed up for a Stanford University cardiovascular study less than 24 hours after the iPhone tool ResearchKit was announced, Bloomberg reports.

The report quoted Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health:

“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country. That’s the power of the phone.”

Apple wants ResearchKit to become the standard by which other health apps are measured. GlucoSuccess was part of the ResearchKit rollout.

The Bloomberg story dives deeper into potential biases, particularly the average iPhone owner might not be the average human, making the data less useful.

Regardless of the bias, Lifehacker thought ResearchKit was the most exciting announcement on a day when Apple unveiled its long-rumored Apple Watch.