Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FDA Approves New Drug for Type 2 Diabetes

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the sweet-ideas dept.

267

Neopallium writes to tell us that the FDA has approved the first of a new kind of treatment for type 2 diabetes. From the article: "JANUVIA belongs to a new breakthrough class of prescription medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors that improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes. JANUVIA enhances a natural body system called the incretin system, which helps to regulate glucose by affecting the beta cells and alpha cells in the pancreas. Through DPP-4 inhibition, JANUVIA works only when blood sugar is elevated to address diminished insulin due to beta-cell dysfunction and uncontrolled production of glucose by the liver due to alpha-cell and beta-cell dysfunction."

cancel ×

267 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

*reads summary* (0, Offtopic)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482849)

I'll, uh, take your word for it...

Er (0, Offtopic)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482861)

What?

Re:Er (0, Flamebait)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483001)

What?

Short version: Lazy people, including nerds who sit in front of computers all day eating little other than junk food and candy and never get any exercise (and no, making a virtual character run around in a first person shooter doesn't count as exercise) tend to get fat which eventually leads to them developing a condition called diabetes 2. In order to control their diabetes they have to take drugs and possibly inject them selves with insulin. JANUVIA is a new drug that helps some diabetes 2 sufferers control their blood sugar level more efficiently although in most cases it will only prolong the inevitable. This is because most people who contract diabetes 2 are usually apathetic about it and make do with taking their medication but don't do anything to change their lifestyle. They avoid serious exercise and continue to stuff their faces with candy and junk food so the drug only slows down the diabetes and eventually they end up suffering one or more of the following diabetes related ailments: renal failure, blindness, chronic wounds, kidney failure and coronary artery disease. The list is probably longer but those are the only ones I could remember off hand.

Re:Er (1)

tyrnight (633534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483487)

How is this flaimbait. this is most certainly INFORMITIVE. people need to wake up and read these these things.. your lives at at stake.

Re:Er (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483967)

This is flamebait because 1) it does not adequately describe Type II Diabetes, 2) The OP's 'causes' ignore gentic factors, and 3) the OP neglects to mention diet and exercise as treatments of Tyoe II Diabetes.

It was a comment designed to provoke an outraged response, which is pretty much the definition of flamebait to me.

Watch it. (1)

catman (1412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483511)

Alright, you did say "most people". But some are slim, physically active people who happen to have inherited one of a large number of genetic faults that cause their glucose metabolism to malfunction. Me, for example, I have never been overweight in my life - yet I have the same DM 2 condition that my mother and her mother had. Diagnosed at the age of 54.
(I could have slugged that eye specialist. He examined my eyes carefully and told me I had no diabetic damage to my retinas. As I breathed a sigh of relief, he added, "but you have beginning cataracts on both eyes". Grrr ... )

Re:Er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16484053)

Your oh-so-funny post conveniently ignores the contribution of genetics in the predisposition to Type 2 diabetes.

But you were being hip and cynical. That excuses your omission.

What about BYETTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16482875)

The claim that this is first in its class seems suspect when compared to a drug that is already on the market called BYETTA [byetta.com] . It also works with the Incretin system. So is it really justified to call JANUVIA "first of a new kind?"

Re:What about BYETTA? (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484005)

As a Byetta patient, I would love to switch to this new CLASS of drug. It is the first of the new class in ORAL drugs. As you may be aware, Byetta is not an ORAL drug, but is administered by needle (twice per day as well!).

The other big problem is storage of Byetta. Constant refridgeration in a small range (36-46 degrees f) is a royal pain. This is a pill, so room temperature is great!

Also this drug does not seem to have as many side effects as Byetta. Thou the one good side effect of Byetta is missing, weight loss.

After seeing this article and reading the actual article (I know, that's against /. rules, but this is important dammit!), I e-mailed a link to my Endocrinologist for evauluation.

Re:What about BYETTA? (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484043)

Thou the one good side effect of Byetta is missing, weight loss.

You can compensate for that by exercising and eating properly.

For those of us with Journal access... (2, Informative)

kypper (446750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482879)

Here's the PubMed [nih.gov] link to the Merck Research in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Fatties of the world... (2, Funny)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482915)

Another downside of obese life eliminated...now if they could just make a pill that would make fat people look attractive at the beach, there'd be no limits to the future of American corpulence!

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482941)

That "pill" is called alcohol, and makes _any_ woman more attractive.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483865)

That "pill" is called alcohol, and makes _any_ woman more attractive.
Oh yeah? [network23.com]

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482953)

Hmm... I must've missed the memo that stated that only obese people get type II diabetes. Must've been circulated only through the accounting department, eh?

Re:Fatties of the world... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16482989)

It's nice that you're an idiot, and thanks for displaying that so openly. Now look at the statistics and you'll realize what the major cause (by far) of type 2 diabetes is.

So where did he say ONLY fat people get it? Oh wait YOU added that so you'd sound higher and mightier when responding with your defense. Instead you sound like a reactionary slashdot asshole, twisting words in order to jam your self-righteousness down our throats.

Re:Fatties of the world... (3, Interesting)

CyberZen (97536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483057)

Nice troll. Really.

Cause? Or correlation? Some recent research suggests that, in people with so-called metabolic syndrome, the real problem might be systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation = increased blood fats, increased blood pressure, decreased insulin response, and weight gain.

We really don't understand type II diabetes so well just yet. Type I, we do. Some suggest that type II patients who are obese might be obese because of the diabetes, not have the diabetes because they're obese. I'm not giving them a free pass, but people like you are the reason there's no ribbon for lung cancer -- you think people deserve these diseases. The first question people ask when someone gets lung cancer? "How long did they smoke?" For some of them the answer is, "They didn't."

Maybe the world isn't quite as simple as you think.

Re:Fatties of the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483161)

While I agree that Type 2 is not fully understood, especially with regards to obesity. However, I believe it's not a matter of obesity so much as diet which causes Type 2 diabetes. You can be thin as a rail but eat like crap (lots of processed foods and sugar).

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

sa666_666 (924613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483425)

The first question people ask when someone gets lung cancer? "How long did they smoke?" For some of them the answer is, "They didn't."

And for most of them, the answer is "They did". I don't think anyone 'deserves' a disease, per se, but in many cases they are responsible for it. And smoking is one of those things that can be stopped, so someone getting lung cancer from smoking removes some compassion from their situation; it really was their own doing.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483537)

Working as a physician in a coal miner town, I see a lot of people with lung cancer. Both those that worked in the mines and their family members. Yes, I suppose they could have worked somewhere else, but *someone* had to get that coal up 30 years ago, and it sure as hell wasn't some independently acting robots.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483873)

So we can have compassion for the coal miner who got lung cancer, or people like Heather Crowe [wikipedia.org] . They were just trying to make a living, didn't smoke, and still got the disease anyway. Yet you can have no compassion for the smoker, because it was their own doing, they know they should have quit.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484141)

Apparently you don't know what compassion is.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483861)

Maybe, maybe not. I think it's pretty obvious from my tone that I was joking. Obesity (and attendant high blood glucose) is pretty well accepted as a major risk factor in the development of diabetes. Just like smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer. Which doesn't make it any less tragic or horrible when it happens. It's true that metabolic syndrome and how insulin resistance and obesity affect each other aren't totally clear, but I've never seen a published paper that claimed obesity couldn't be a risk factor.

So calm down. I know it's fun to build up a big load of righteous indignation, but there's just no call for it.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484235)

So calm down. I know it's fun to build up a big load of righteous indignation, but there's just no call for it.

You've put your finger on something here. It really is "fun to build up a big load of righteous indignation." That's a big part of the problems in the world and 99.999% of the problems on /.

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484415)

"I think it's pretty obvious from my tone that I was joking."

No, it was clear at all. You displayed contempt for fat people, their ugliness, and how stereotypically American they are. Somehow I bet you aren't overweight, much less obese, and that you're too young to even appreciate how difficult it can be to maintain weight with insulin resistance. It is clear that you feel qualified to be judgemental.

"So calm down. I know it's fun to build up a big load of righteous indignation, but there's just no call for it."

Of course there is. You're a conceited asshole. No better reason than that.

Agreed.....and there's other causes of type 2: (1)

cruc (599914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483949)

I had a heart attack at the grand old age of 30 six years ago, and was diagnosed diabetic at the same time. I was out of the USMC by only a few years, and while I did have a stressful job with the sometimes according eating habits, I was by no means fat/obese, and didn't certainly live on sugar. (No family history either FWIW). No definitive cause was found, but strongly suspected the undiagnosed diabetes as the impetus. In my case, I had symptoms for several years, but simply attributed them to...getting older and being tired. It was suspected that I had gotten a bacterial infection at some point that essentially shut down my pancreas-instant diabetic essentially. Thankfully, I had a great doc who treatment centered around the concept of "jumpstarting" my pancreas, and today, I'm fully controlled by now with only one oral medication taken daily. I can say that I am excited by these new drugs as I *have* put on weight since having to take the current classes of drugs-probably 40 pounds. I exercise, eat decently, and can do both to extremes by can't seem to lose/maintain weight no matter what (all sideffects of the current class of drugs).

Re:Fatties of the world... (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483997)

Now look at the statistics and you'll realize what the major cause (by far) of type 2 diabetes is

Genetic predisposition.

Thank you! Come Again!

- A Type II Diabetic.

You may have it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483117)

Obesity and weight gain in general is closely linked to the control of blood sugar. When blood sugar levels crash after people eat the wrong foods, they get hungry again. It's the body's way of trying to stabilize blood sugar levels.

The drug companies research on diabetes is closely linked to their research on obesity. So, the next headline you read may be "Drug cures obesity". http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?ne wsid=46718 [medicalnewstoday.com]

One of the best explanations of blood sugar vs. weight can be found in Barry Sears book "The Zone". http://www.drsears.com/booksbydrsears.page [drsears.com] He actually started his research to try to extend his life. His male ancestors tended to die of heart disease in their fifties. He's already lived longer, so that's one indicator that his findings are effective. On of his key findings was the role that blood sugar levels have on athletic performance and weight gain.

The tone of your post is pretty judgemental. The weight gain epidemic in America has way more to do with the choices people are given and not so much to do with the fact that people are a bunch of fat lazy slobs. Someone who's glued to their desk for nine or ten hours a day and then has to spend another three hours commuting, isn't going to get the exercise they need, nor do they have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal when they get home.

BTW. If I had to sum up what Dr. Sears says: Eat way less red meat and way more vegitables. It worked for me.

Re:You may have it backwards (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483385)

Speaking as an ex-"lazy slob", it does have EVERYthing to do with being Lazy AND making BAD choices about food. All the options are there, it's just in America we tend to make the WRONG choices. Either cause it's faster, cheaper, or it just tastes better.

And the day I start making a concerted effort to eat "way less red meat", is the day I think I start thinking what the hell did I do this for?

You've made your choices ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483769)

and you've chosen early heart attack. The link between red meat and heart disease is pretty strong.

The same way you imply that fat people are lazy slobs who can't control their appetites reflects back on you because you can't control your desire for red meat. There are reasons why our population is so fat and being judgemental about it won't cure the problem. It turns out that it isn't a particularly easy problem to solve but I think the tide is turning. The food industry is presenting us with a lot more healthy alternatives these days. For instance the market for organic food is increasing at over ten percent per year. http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/inimr-ri.n sf/en/gr112100e.html [ic.gc.ca]

Re:You've made your choices ... (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484069)

You're looking at my statement wrong(yes, I can't resist talking to the AC's). I said a concerted effort. That means I actively chose something other than red meat. That doesn't imply that I currently can't control my desire for red meat. Generally, the only time I go after red meat is when I want a slab of beef known as a "ribeye". I mainly trim the excess fats and other "good" parts of the cut because it's just too much fat for my tastes now. Also, could the CORRELATION of red meat to heart attacks doesn't generally take in the rest of the diet. IE, a person who actively choses not to eat red meat will, generally, seek out healthier alternatives in all other foods. Or, what about the guy who loves his steak, crusted in pepercorns and salt, and to go with the meal he has a big ass baked potato with butter(real) and sour cream, and why not toss in a few pieces of garlic french bread? Like was said by a smarter man than me: Correlation != Confirmation and "It's all lies, damned lies, and statistics." It all comes down to the individual and education. Once you know what something does to you, it's up to you to make the decision about what it's worth to you to do that something.

Re:You've made your choices ... (1)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484309)

I gotta tell ya, your posts make too much sense here sometimes. Shouldn't you be in slashdot fantasyland like most of the posters?

Seriously, though, what you're getting at (which many self-induced fatasses don't see) is moderation and I completely agree. Consumption of red meat may be linked with heart disease if the rest of the diet is ignored, but consumers of large quantities of red meat generally get it through McDonalds hamburgers, not steaks (I'm extrapolating this from purchasing statistics, McD's buys a LOT of the beef in this country). Fast food consumers are generally... unhealthy, due to their habit of eating a lot of highly processed fast food.

But hey, when I want a ribeye (and to me, there is no better part of the cow), I'm going for the baked potato or some fries. But the education that you speak of limits me to doing that maybe once a month, sometimes twice. The rest of the time I cook my meals at home to control what goes in. Why? Because when I graduated college two years ago I was a bit overweight, and I've been told that's bad for you. Having been very healthy when I started and overweight with high blood pressure when I finished, I figured controlling what goes into your body involves knowing exactly what's in your food. If you don't, and say, get the $4.50 chinese lunch special 3x a week because your apartment is 25 steps to the restaurant, you might end up fat at graduation :)

Anyway, for anyone who's reading this looking for some help getting started, buy the Abs Diet book. It's a very intuitive, sustainable diet. You don't starve yourself, it's just a guideline on how to eat a balanced diet. You still get red meat and some crap you shouldn't eat thrown in, it's a pretty realistic book.

Re:You may have it backwards (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483985)

I have to argue about the cheaper thing. Try putting all the healthy food (fruit, vegetables, etc.) on one bill, and then put all the red meat, chips, pop, and other stuff on another bill. See which bill comes out to more. It's only 29 cents pound for bananas. You can't even get mock chicken that cheap, let alone quality meat. Also, it's way more expensive to be lazy. Sitting around watching TV or going out to a movie is expensive. $40+ for cable, $13 for a movie. You can go ice skating at your local arena for $2. Public swimming at your local pool is equally cheap. Going to the local park for a walk is free. I really don't understand why anybody thinks that being inactive and eating bad is actually more expensive. If they do, they clearly haven't done a good comparison.

Re:You may have it backwards (1)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484397)

For me, eating healthy has definitely been more expensive. Yes, produce is pretty cheap, but good quality meats tend not to be. I only shop the perimeter of the supermarket now (and maybe the bread aisle for natural peanut butter and whole grain bread, which can be tasty these days). While my big bag of tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and various greens are generally cheap (yep, Italian-American here) the lean cuts of beef and pork aren't. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, which may be the most bland, boring thing ever, can usually be found on sale though. Head over to the dairy case and the yogurt that isn't loaded with shit is definitely more expensive than the stuff that is, milk is like $3 a gallon, etc. It's definitely more expensive than going over to the freezer and buying a bunch of frozen pizza and tv dinners.

Spam (0, Troll)

harm5way (616066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482927)

Is the submission process breaking? This is not slashdot news. It's spam, or an attempt to get a lot of linking.

Re:Spam (1)

Dionysos Taltos (980090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483723)

Why is it not Slashdot news? Don't know any nerds with Type II Diabetes? I do. If you don't like the information, you don't have to read it, and you definitely shouldn't waste your time posting here.

Re:Spam (1)

crypticman (1015069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483783)

Don't you understand what the science means?

Translate... (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482929)

Can someone who understands this translate it for me to english, because I tried reading the article but didn't understand it, and since my father has type-II diabetes it would be interesting to understand what it's all about.

I'll take a shot (3, Informative)

QuaintRealist (905302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483319)

disclaimer: I am a pharmacologist. I do not work for Merck or any other drug company. I do work for an ICU specialist group.

This drug works by decreasing the amount of sugar produced by the liver. In most type II diabetics the liver produces too much, for reasons we only partly understand. It also makes the pancreas produce more insulin in response to high blood sugar. This mechanism is also defective in type II diabetes, again for reasons poorly understood. It does these things by a new mechanism of action, and is the first drug that affects the first problem I listed above.

Does your father go to an endocrinologist? Diabetes is still not as well understood as we would like, and this is the third brand new treatment for diabetes in the last couple of years (one of them is for type I diabetics only). There are a lot of new options out there.

Re:Translate... (1)

crypticman (1015069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483651)

This is the quote from somewhere, I forgot the link though.
"the first in a new class of oral diabetes medications, called DDP-4 inhibitors (sometimes called gliptins), designed to enhance the body's natural system of lowering blood glucose.They do this by raising the levels of a naturally occurring hormone, called GLP-1, released in the stomach and intestines during eating. This hormone causes the pancreas to produce more insulin while simultaneously discouraging the liver from producing sugar." I believe this medicine will be a big hit in the near future for people taking annoying insulin shots everyday to live.

Cinnamon and Chrome (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16482947)

And some other natural sources do affect the control of glucose levels in a positive way. It is strange that people try to invent stuff where nature can help too. It is the dosis that matters and a good doctor should be able to help you with that.

When the FDA approves something, best bet that they gain profit from it. In money or otherwise....

- Unomi -

Not just fat people (2)

PeterT (15849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482957)

While being fat does appear to have a correlation with type2 diabetes, genetics appears to have a greater effect. I am not fat, but have suffered from type2 for a number of years. Any medical advances dealing with this are most welcome.

Re:Not just fat people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483443)

Remember, there are two types of diabetes, type I and type II. Type I has been found to be strongly correlated to genetics whereas type II has a strong correlation to lifestyle health.

This has to do with what appears to be the underlying causes of these diseases:
Type I is caused by the destruction of the Isles of Langurhan (sp?) within the Pancreas that create insulin which breaks up sugar in the blood. This is an auto-immune disorder, as we understand it today, which means that for some unknown reason the body decides the Isles of L. are foreign and need to be destroyed.
Type II is where the body does not produce enough insulin or fails to utilize it's insulin effectively. Note that this is not auto-immune; the Isles remain and function, to some degree at least.

The underlying reasons for both of these are not known, to the best of my knowledge. It is often thought, as I understand it, that these diseases are actually widely different in their origin and have a similar designation only due to their similarity of symptoms.

Also, please consider that "strong correlation" does not mean "absolute correlation" or "causation."

And finally, this is excellent news. Hopefully this will also give us some underlying insights into the actual causes of this ailment, for therein lies our path to a cure.

Re:Not just fat people (1)

svindler (78075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484379)

Yeah right, you just got big bones! :-)

Brain aneurism! (3, Insightful)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482977)

O...kaaaay. So. We have these alpha & beta cells who aren't doing what they're supposed to do - they're producing too much glucose (or not preventing the liver from doing so), so the body's natural insulin isn't enough. So, when that happens, it would be good if the "incretin" system kicked in to regulate these naughty cells - but DPP-4 normally stops the system doing that (to a degree). So, this Januvia stuff stops the DPP-4 that stops the incretin stopping the dysfunctional cells, meaning Januvia indirectly stops your these cells from producing too much glucose.

*faint*

Re:Brain aneurism! (1)

taggart85 (846306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483031)

Type-2 Diabetes is quite different from what is typically thought of Diabetes wherein the body is not producing enough insulin. In type-2, even though there is insulin production, the body appears to be resistant to it. In type-1 diabetes, without insulin - cells cannot take up glucose even though it is present in the bloodstream, making the body think it is starving and leading to breakdown of proteins etc. - leading to ketoacidosis. This is not the case in type -2. Just flipping thru the link, it seems the drug targets the reasons of insulin resistance namely "three key defects of type 2 diabetes can be addressed: insulin resistance, beta-cell dysfunction (decreased insulin release), and alpha-cell dysfunction (unsuppressed hepatic glucose production)." Tagg

Actually... (5, Insightful)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482983)

Folks, this is some pretty big news in biotech. While not a cure for cancer, over 20 million people have diabetes. Just taking insulin is a tricky business, and even in the best of cases leads to necrosis (cell death) in the hands and feet, along with blindness and kidney failure. Think of it like a pendulum...the more you mess with it, the farther it swings - like steroids. This works on fixing the problem without that pendulum swing. It's worthy of a front page.

Re:Actually... (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483163)

At $4.85 per tablet, once a day, that is about $150 a month. This certainly can't be afforded by all of those 20 million people, but the ones that can, will make for nice profits for the company. I just hope that they lower the price a bit in the future. With this huge potential market, they should be able to.

Re:Actually... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483347)

will make for nice profits for the company.

Which, of course, may be the very reason why the treatment exists at all. If you want something, a good way to get it is to make it worth someone's while to do so.

Re:Actually... (1)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483355)

Nobody will pay that much for the pills -- you shouldn't attempt to make this into a class warfare thing. Insurance companies will pick up the bulk of the costs, as they do for most medicines these days, which is also why drug prices can inflate so easily. Most people don't pay the actual posts of the pills, and then they complain when their co-pay for their $100 drug goes from $5 to $10. I worked in a pharmacy long enough to see that happen first hand.

It's like tech in many ways -- it always starts off expensive, and slowly drops in price with time. When the patent comes off and generics come into the market (often made by the same company) then you'll see a significant price drop.

Re:Actually... (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483659)

you shouldn't attempt to make this into a ... warfare thing ... Insurance companies will pick up the bulk of the costs

And insurance companies get their money from the magical money well where fairy elves shoot out of my ass?

No. That money comes out of everyone's pocket. When you take money from everyone to support a few people, what's that called? Oh, right, welfare.

Re:Actually... (1)

lys1123 (461567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484159)

Nobody will pay that much for the pills -- you shouldn't attempt to make this into a class warfare thing. Insurance companies will pick up the bulk of the costs, as they do for most medicines these days, which is also why drug prices can inflate so easily.

Okay, I can't just let this one go by without a comment.

Insurance may "pick up the bulk of the costs" in your mind, but they are a business. What happens when a business has increased costs?

"Average premiums have risen 87% since 2000, while workers' earnings have risen 20%."

The amount I pay for health insurance for my family is the second largest item on our budget, right after rent. So premiums nearly double, which means more people simply cannot afford to pay them.

"Last year, the percentage of people who received health insurance through their jobs was 59.5%, Census Bureau data released in August show. That's the lowest rate since 1993"

"Nationally, nearly 16% of the population, or 46.6 million, are uninsured, according to recent Census estimates"

So tell me again why class doesn't matter with this? We aren't talking about welfare recipients, we are talking about hard working middle class families who will not be able to benefit from this because they can neither afford the pills nor the insurance you so flippantly take for granted.

(Source of Quotes: USA Today [usatoday.com] )

Re:Actually... (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483599)

Also something like this is probably only going to be used for people with very severe cases. I've got diabetes but I can easily keep my blood sugar in the 90-120 range by just watching what I eat and taking something called Amaryl.

Re:Actually... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483169)

This is type 2 diabetes we're talking about. More than 95% of these people are overweight/obese. The cure for these people is to lose the weight! Wkae me up when there's a cure for type 1 diabetes that doesn't require immunosuppresion therapy.

Re:Actually... (2, Informative)

CyberZen (97536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483637)

Explain all the thin, old people with type II, then.

Really, I'm sick of this "lose a little weight and the diabetes is gone ingorance. Type II is not fully understood, and is made worse by primarily two things:

1) Weight
2) Time.

Even a thin person who has type II, or a type II who loses all of their excess fat, will worsen with age.

Re:Actually... (1)

red3dwarf (982204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483199)

20 million people where? Parochial? Moi?

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483221)

I already have a much better solution for both Type I and II diabetics. They'll never even have to take insulin again. It's called, avoid carbohydrates. Seriously... to diabetics, carbs (which of course turn into glucose) are like poison. They're what causes Type-II in the first place. The stupid part is, the ADA and other associations know this, and yet they recommend a diet of 70% carbs. Why? Aside from the blithering idiots who think ingesting fat causes diabetes, they don't feel people want to avoid the very poison that's causing their problem, and they won't even try to restrict carbs from their diet. Apparently people would rather go blind and lose their hands and feet than give up french fries.

Re:Actually... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483365)

I already have a much better solution for both Type I and II diabetics. They'll never even have to take insulin again. It's called, avoid carbohydrates.
Your solution won't do anything for type 1 diabetics since type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Suppose you're a type 1 diabetec and you were able to use stem cells to regenerate your lost pancreatic islet cells. Once you implant them, they'd be promptly destroyed by your immune system.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483465)

Umm, if you're not ingesting carbohydrates, and don't have glucose in your blood, you won't need insulin (an incredibly destructive hormone anyway), and thus, your lost pancreatic islet cells can remain lost.

Your ignorance is showing (1)

catman (1412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483629)

There is a word that describes people without glucose in their blood.
It's "dead". It's what happens if you shoot too much insulin.
Every cell in your body needs glucose, it their fuel! If you don't eat carbohydrates at all, the body will start manufacturing glucose
from fats and proteins. Unfortunately the byproducts of this process are poisonous and can kill you - WILL kill a diabetic.
If you're not a diabetic, I think it's called the Atkins diet and can kill you by starvation :-0

For people skipping AC post, this is what he wrote:

Umm, if you're not ingesting carbohydrates, and don't have glucose in your blood, you won't need insulin (an incredibly destructive hormone anyway), and thus, your lost pancreatic islet cells can remain lost.

Or... (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483255)

People could just eat a proper diet and less crappy foods. Especially avoiding things with that poisonous High Fructose Corn Syrup that manufacturers love to use. This isn't about obesity, it's about diet.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say type 2 diabetes can be totally prevented, it's generally a self inflicted disease. And our society isn't helping either because the crappiest foods are often the easiest to get (eg. fast food).

Re:Actually... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483269)

Folks, this is some pretty big news in biotech. ... It's worthy of a front page.

You know, the linked article is spam. It's not even a genuine news article and contains 20 or so paragraphs, each beginning with "JANUVIA does this and that".

If this is worthy of front page on Slashdot, well that's pretty sad for Slashdot I think.

Re:Actually... (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483307)

Here's something on the topic [cnn.com] a little easier to swallow. Yes, losing weight is the way to prevent diabetes. Once you're rolling full-bore, though...it's kind of hard to deal with weight issues when your metabolism is, by definition, massively messed up. Not to mention that weight loss is a SYMPTOM of diabetes.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16484441)

Not to mention that weight loss is a SYMPTOM of diabetes.

Yep -- lost 35 pounds right before I was diagnosed (got all sorts of compliments from folks on my weight loss...)

Re:Actually... (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483301)

It's only a cure for Type 2. Other cures for Type 2 diabetes include "not eating so much crappy food that you become a hulking lardass". Yes, there are a few people with Type 2 that aren't hulking lardasses, but generally, the second type is due to poor diet and general lack of self-control.

From diabetes.org: The first treatment for type 2 diabetes is often meal planning for blood glucose (sugar) control, weight loss, and exercising.

But, for the lazy asses who got themselves into this mess to begin with, and can't be bothered to eat right, now "there's a pill for that". Yeah, that's front page news. Oh, and my apologies to the few who have "adult onset diabetes" whose reputation has been ruined by the "masses" of hulking lardasses - but they did manage to get you a pill, which looks way better than shots...

Insulin != necrosis (1)

Walles (99143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483491)

even in the best of cases leads to necrosis (cell death) in the hands and feet, along with blindness and kidney failure

No it doesn't. That happens when people don't take enough insulin. Then the sugar level in their blood gets too high. A lot of people with diabetes constantly walk around with about 2-3x as much sugar in their blood stream as what's normal.

Sugar is sticky. So it sticks to the insides of the blood vessels. When a blood vessel is coated with enough sugar on the inside, it won't be able to transport blood any more. The first blood vessels to clog this way is obviously the thinnest ones. Like the ones in the hands, feet, eyes and kidneys (see the connection?).

So all of those issues isn't because people are taking insulin, they are because people are *not* taking their insulin. Under-dosing some other drug won't help either.

"This is a drug... (0, Offtopic)

RandoFernando (875464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483033)

...that gives worms to ex-girlfriends!"

Inhibitor of Glucagon (4, Insightful)

ascotan (1015049) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483097)

It's an upstream inhibitor of glucagon. Glucagon signals the body that it has low blood sugar. It tells the liver to produce sugars in response, because the body thinks you're in a fasting state. In a normal person glucagon is inhibited when you eat food, because insulin is released. Insulin tells the body - 'It's Dinner Time!!' - and you're liver production of sugar stops as blood sugar is used up. Apparently this system gets screwed up in people with diabetes, as the balancing act between insulin and glucagon doesn't work properly. Therefore this medication will help the body realize, that when blood sugar is high, to stop liver production of sugars (and possibly tell the pancreas to release insulin), which should aid diabetics in controlling blood sugar levels.

Re:Inhibitor of Glucagon (1)

catman (1412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484109)

Thanks - no mod points for me, please mod parent up max!

Let me add: Some times a movie may show a diabetic with a "low"[1] getting an injection in the emergency room. That injection is not insulin, because that would kill him, it's glucagon, which stimulates the liver to release glucose.

The rest of us would do well to give him a non-diet sweet drink, a piece of candy, or almost any kind of food.
Unfortunately some type 1s have died in police custody because cops mistake a low for a roaring drunk.

[1] This explains about "lows". [umich.edu]

natural selection (-1, Offtopic)

suntac (252438) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483115)

Woops there is natural selection going down some more... Kidding.. Good thing.... I guess.. ;-)

Re:natural selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16483439)

haha - funny but backwards - you see in a world where there is little food, it's the fat people who would survive the best. Bet you never thought of it that way have you?

But back to reality - natural selection is kinda of out the door since nothing humans interact with in there environment is natural anymore, plus it takes a million years. Nope, its all dependent on just plain radiation indeuced mutation now. Well that and human controled genetic modifications. Which hopefully someday will address the fat issue.

Why the hostility? (4, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483121)

The medicine is great for the people that need it, I'm sure. But let's go off on a tangent; I see a number of posters already are doing so.

Why are so many slashdrones so terribly hostile toward diabetics? It's not possible to post a story mentioning diabetes without various people posting inaccurate information ("Being lazy and getting fat causes diabetes!") combined with hearty invective ("You're sub-human slobs and you all deserve to die!").

(Just for the record, obesity is associated with diabetes but is not the cause. Diabetes is a failure of various regulatory mechanisms and heredity plays a big part. There's lots of good research that indicates the process of becoming diabetic tends to make you fat rather than the reverse. And treatment is severely problematical, often because common drugs cause massive weight gain, a problem this new drug is supposed to address.)

So why all the bile poured out on diabetes sufferers? I really don't understand it. There are lots of other diseases that make people unattractive or can be partially blamed on lifestyle, but I don't see anyone jumping on the "People get cancer because they're stupid!" or the "All alcoholics should be shot!" bandwagons, even though those ideas make about as much sense as condemning diabetics for being sick.

What's up? Anyone want to clue me in?

Re:Why the hostility? (2, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483403)

Another point so often left out is the sugar content in foods today. Modern food is chock a block with high fructose corn syrup. Virtually all food contains it at this point. It's a major contributing factor for diabetes and is something largely outside the ken, never mid the control, of the average person.

When someone contracts Type-II diabetes, don't just ask how much they ate. Ask what they ate. I'd wager the second is by far the bigger contributor to the disease. If HFCS was a banned substance, I would forsee a collapse in the number of diabetics emerging, even without a decrease in consumption.

Re:Why the hostility? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484263)

Do you have anything other than your speculation to support the notion that hfcs is somehow worse for a person than cane sugar? Or are you saying that people would stop eating sweet stuff if hfcs were banned?

The more interesting discussion is sugar tariffs, corn subsidies and corn syrup simply not tasting as good.

Re:Why the hostility? (3, Informative)

Temkin (112574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484057)

I've often wondered the same thing. I suspect there's a lot of misinformation floating around out there with regards to type 2 diabetes. Cause and effect are really not easy to tease apart with this disease, and the finger pointing may give some people a sense of vindication for their own lifestyle choices, and/or a bit of schadenfreude. It's easy to sit at a computer and type trash when you consider yourself immune because you play ultimate frisbee everyday at lunch. But it's a false sense of security. I became type 2 while doing outdoor science research, hiking all day, 6 days a week.

A1C - 5.5% on a modified Atkins diet. Drives my flaming idealist vegetarian sister-in-law nuts... I tell her "Get over it... biochemically, I'm a carnivore". :-)

Re:Why the hostility? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484083)

Oh, if only I could give you mod points...

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 5 years ago. No-one in the family (either side) has diabetes and there is no family history of it either. I am not overweight for my height (6ft 2in), my diet is reasonably balanced and healthy (I reckon I visit KFC/McDs/Burger King etc. about 5 times a year) and the doctors think I became diabetic as a result of a viral infection.

I don't get annoyed at people who post 'diabetes = fat people' messages 'cos there's no point, but it worth reiterating that although you can put yourself into a diabetic state through lifestyle choices, for many 'it just/shit happens'.

it isn't about diabetics (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484453)

Why are so many slashdrones so terribly hostile toward diabetics?

It's not about you. It's about them. They're better than you -- that's their point. They're "the good people". How would you know how much better they are if they didn't tell you how bad you are in comparison? More importantly, how would they know?

Similar people drive a Prius, only buy organic food, support smoking bans in taverns, and "only watch PBS on TV".

Instead of more drugs... (5, Insightful)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483131)

Instead of making America take more drugs and waste more money, how about they just ban high fructose corn syrup? We might not have the big diabetes epidemic we have right now if we stopped filling all our food with such a dangerous sweetener. But of course, our government is more concerned with the "rights" of big business than the well-being of the people that it supposedly serves. And those pharmacutical companies that "donate" to our politicians stand to make a larger killing off of this than they would with an actual good plan.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

ViaNRG (892147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483445)

There is no excuse for the diabetes pre-epidemic, that is certain [msn.com] to grow rapidly in the next 10+ years. There are definitely safer ways to sweeten foods and drink products, but the higher margins are of course with the good old cheap-o-corn syrup extract, by-products. There has got to be some regulation here sooner or latter, or are kids are in for a horrible middle age.

Re:Instead of more drugs... (2, Interesting)

mrjb (547783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483683)

Instead of making America take more drugs and waste more money, how about they just ban high fructose corn syrup?
Wikipedia says "A more recent study found a link exists between obesity and high HFCS consumption, especially from soft drinks.".

So instead of banning HFCS, how about cutting down on the fizzy drinks, for example by reducing the serving size at your local golden arcs? The bucketloads of soda-pop served as a single serving in the States are beyond ridiculous. An average restaurant in Europe will sell servings of 200 ml as 'small', 330 ml as 'normal' and 400 cc as 'large'. I commonly see liter-buckets (1000cc or about 1/4 gallon) being served in the States. Here in Europe we don't even *have* that type of serving size for fizzy drinks.

When I was a kid, my mother always taught us that fizzy drinks were 'party drinks', unsuitable for quenching thirst. Instead we'd have (pure, unsweetened) fruit juices/milk/tea/water. Not a drop of HFCS in there... My point is, instead of telling the government to 'ban HFCS instead of making the people spend more money', what about educating the people and letting them take some responsibility for their actions?

If people can not be held responsible for watching their own HFCS consumption, why trust them to walk around with guns?

Re:Instead of more drugs... (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483905)

because its blaitantly obvious when a gun is being misused. HFCS is much more subtle.

Europe America .. duh! (1)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484117)

Europe is sooooo much better than America!! Just admit it! All you Americans are useless slobs!!!

Can someone mod the parent down as offtopic? Christ, he thinks he's going to solve the world's health problems in a slashdot post.

If you really think that Europeans are generally better than Americans at making health decisions then you are clueless. I mean, Europe invented foie gras. If you don't know what that is, then look it up. Then come back and tell me how much healthier Europeans are.

Finally, I am willing to bet that the only reason Europe has smaller drink sizes is that soda costs more in Europe. Oh, but I forgot, in Europe, they don't care about money. Businesses just give their products to the poor and needy because everyone in Europe is more moral than us American slobs and our rabid, fast food consuming families. Really, they gave up money years ago in Europe. IT's SO 20th century!

Re:Instead of more drugs... (1)

multiOSfreak (551711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484021)

Instead of making America take more drugs and waste more money, how about they just ban high fructose corn syrup? We might not have the big diabetes epidemic we have right now if we stopped filling all our food with such a dangerous sweetener.

While I agree with you that there is entirely too much high fructose corn syrup in the foods that are commonly available, I don't think banning it is an appropriate fix. Corn syrup, in and of itself, isn't deadly, so there's no need to ban it. People who cannot grasp the concept of moderation will not be helped by banning any given thing. They'll just find something else to abuse.

People need to take responsibility for their own dietary intake. If they become giant blubbering lard-asses and develop Type II diabetes through their own actions, so be it. I don't want to be denied access to something because other people are too goddamn stupid to stop constantly shoveling it in their pie hole.

NOT a preventive medicine (1)

crypticman (1015069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484147)

oh well.. first of all, this is not a prevent medicine.
Second, this disease does not necessary come with eating bad food or being a fat person although it is one of the major causes. There are lots of people in the world who started contract with this disease due to generation and other factors. I think it is big hit.
People with diabetes also suffer from the side effects of the disease over time (heart disease, kidney failure etc...) while being careful about their diet. I think this medicine will help those people by producing natural hormones instead of taking insulin everyday to live.

Lets appreciate the good contribution of today's science.!!!
Finally, I dont work for that company or I am not diabetic. This is a pure appreciation to a good science.

Re:Instead of more drugs... (1)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484299)


High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is dangerous stuff indeed. But first, to really understand how dangerous it is you have to understand how the body processes sugar. (information taken from the book 'Good Carb, Better Carb Cookbook' which you can find here http://tinyurl.com/ycuvmx [tinyurl.com] )

Glucose, fructose and galactose can all be absorbed directly by the body--no breaking down at all. They are monosaccharides (one sugar) and they are 'simple sugar'. Glucose is also called 'blood sugar' and it is this that diabetics test for.

Lactose, sucrose and maltose on the other hand are disaccharides (two sugar) and they must be broken down into simple sugars before the body absorbs them.

Glucose + Fructose = Sucrose (Table Sugar)
Glucose + Galactose = Lactose (Milk Sugar)
Glucose + Glucose = Maltose (Malt sugar)

Now, if Fructose can be absorbed by the body directly, why is it so bad? And what is with the 'High Fructose' stuff?

Well remember when I said that the body converts everything into Glucose? It can only do so much of that in a set amount of time. Normally this isn't much of a problem, as natural fruits and vegetables only have a tiny amount of it in them. So you don't have a issue with fructose getting into places where it's not supposed to be, floating around your bloodstream.

You could never eat enough fruits/vegetables to 'overdose' on Fructose in your life. Ever. It's simply not possible to do so, because you would get full before you were anywhere near it. The body was never designed to process that much, because it's not possible in nature.

The other bad thing about it is that the body never feels 'full' on this stuff. Your brain is tuned to stop eating after a certain amount of glucose is pumping through your veins. Fructose--while processed as into glucose--doesn't let this happen.

So you eat and eat and eat--but never get full. Kind of like Barbossa with his Apples. Yar.

THIS IS WHY WE ARE FAT.

The food is sweet (and sweet food is programmed into our brains as good food, because our brains need sugar to be as big as they are) and we never get full. Your body is bombarded with waaaaaay too much sugar, and then you eventually raise your tolerance for sugar so high that your body can never get that high with natural foods alone.

THIS IS WHY DIETS FAIL.

The solution? Limit how many carbs (and sugars) you intake is a start, but more importantly eat GOOD CARBS and minimize the bad ones. I really do recommend the book I linked above. It's less of a cookbook, and more of a instruction guide on what to eat.

Yes, HFCS is very addictive. And it's in so many things, even if you didn't want to eat it you would get some of it. It's in Ketchup. It's in orange juice. It's in soda.

Go ahead. Look at the back of the can of soda your drinking. HFCS is in all of 'em, and along with CS and sometimes even regular sugar sometimes. That's three kinds of sugar in one can. Add it to the fact that it's in everything and you can see how dangerous you can get with this stuff.

Copy Protection (1)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483217)

I assume it was a 17 patent on it.

The rest of us get screwed again (2, Interesting)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483387)

Someday, one of these announcements will actually help those of us with Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1), who have to take multiple shots a day and not just pop a pill.

Genetics sucks.

Re:The rest of us get screwed again (1)

Dionysos Taltos (980090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483889)

Remember, Type 1 Diabetes will be cured one day. Type 2 is incurable. Hang in there. My son is Type 1 and he's doing all the things he has to do, diet, exercise, shots; until the day comes when there's a cure. There are good people going to work on Type 1 ...

UAB Creates Comprehensive Diabetes Center

Posted on September 15, 2006 at 2:30 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Establishment of the Comprehensive Diabetes Center at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) was approved today by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, meeting in Tuscaloosa.

The center will be directed on an interim basis by Edward Abraham, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine, who will lead a national search for a highly qualified scientist to assume the center's leadership position. The UAB Diabetes Center will be housed on the 12th floor of the Richard C. and Annette N. Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building.

A UAB-Community partnership is under way to raise funds to support the creation of a major diabetes research and treatment program at UAB. Nearly $9 million has been raised and will be used to hire a permanent director and six additional faculty members, as well as to provide additional funding to support the center's operating costs during its start-up years, before it is able to generate its own funding, Abraham said.

"There are many people in the community to thank for their contributions to helping to find improved ways to care for people with diabetes and to work toward a cure for it," he said. He specifically thanked David Silverstein, Benny LaRussa and Robin Sparks, who are chairing the community effort, and major donors Nancy Gwaltney of Alexander City, Ala., and the Diabetes Trust Foundation.

The new Diabetes Center will assemble scientists and clinicians from many disciplines to collaborate on translating basic medical discoveries into effective therapies. Existing units that will collaborate include the departments of Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Nutrition Sciences, Pathology, Cell Biology and Genetics.

And the cost is? (1)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483421)

No statement I can see about how much this treatment will cost. Many new-gen drugs are so expensive that only the super-rich can afford them. So, while nice to know of, they are effectively useless for 99 per cent of humanity. The irony is that the super-rich are much less likely to need such treatments, since they can afford to eat well. No corn-syrup-soaked breakfast cereal for them, no breads mostly containing only fats and air with a few corner-sweepings of wheat thrown in, no vegetables pumped full of water and then covered in salt and sugar.

Re:And the cost is? (1)

rheimbuch (674723) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483719)

It's about 3/4 of the way down...
Pricing and availability of JANUVIA

The price of once-daily JANUVIA in the United States will be $4.86 per tablet. JANUVIA will be broadly available in pharmacies in the United States in the near future.

Cost Benefit? (3, Insightful)

q2k (67077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483497)

My wife is Type 1 diabetic, and her take on this is that $5 a pill is a lot of money for something that doesn't really work any better than the existing therapies available at 50 cents a pill. Getting A1C readings down to 7 is nothing to crow about. 7 is still too high. To minimize the long term complications of uncontrolled blood sugars, you really want your A1C down around 6.

Re:Cost Benefit? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483961)

Add to that the fact that this pill will do nothing to help Type 1 diabetics such as your wife and myself.

In fact, in our case such a pill could be dangerous, as injections of glucagon (which this inhibits) are the "last resort" treatment for severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, caused by either an overdose of insulin, a smaller than normal meal combined with a normal insulin dose, or exercise without accompanying food or reduced insulin.)

Others have hinted at this, but the basics of diabetes, Type I and Type II:
Type I - Often called "juvenile diabetes", is almost always diagnosed before the age of 20 (hence the name), and usually before 10-15, hence its name. It is nearly unheard of for someone to develope Type I later than the age of 20. Type I is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin. Due to the total lack of insulin, external insulin injections are required to treat this disease, no other treatment exists. (Well, prior to the discovery of insulin in the early 1920s, total starvation was a treatment, but it would only work for a year or two at most before death. Without insulin, no matter how much sugar is in the blood, the body itself actually starves. A starvation diet would prevent the additional problems resulting from excessive blood sugar concentration to some degree, but wouldn't fix the fact that the body itself was starving.) Once a Type I diabetic starts treatment, diabetes becomes a balancing act. Insulin and exercise lower blood sugar, food and stress raise it. High blood sugar (above 120 mg/dl) does all sorts of long-term damage to the body, low blood sugar (below 80 mg/dl) can lead to weakness, disorientation, and if the sugar concentration gets too low, unconsciousness and death.

About the only really "good news" for Type I diabetics recently has been the development of continuous blood glucose monitoring systems, which makes insulin dose management much easier by providing much more information to fine tune insulin, food, and exercise levels. Unfortunately CGMS is not very accurate so far and requires fingersticks for confirmation before action is taken, and also is not yet covered by insurance companies. As a result, few people can obtain it and it cannot be used for a "closed loop" system where an insulin pump automatically reacts to blood sugar levels.

Type II is a different animal - The exact causes are unknown, but it usually is the result of decreased pancreatic capacity (due to old age) or increased insulin resistance (due to weight, stress, or other factors). It is often referred to as "adult diabetes" due to the fact that it is rarely seen in people under 30 unless they are overweight. While it is true that many Type IIs are overweight, many (probably 50% or more) are simply either old or unlucky. I once knew a Type II who was in his low 30s and was thin as a pencil - fortunately for him, he was able to manage his diabetes with diet alone (many small meals per day are in many ways better than three large ones.) New treatments for Type II are coming out all the time, and to be honest, that means that this article really isn't news. A new treatment for Type I (other than new insulin variants with different activity/time profiles such as Humalog/Novolog at the "faster than human insulin" end and Lantus at the "so long-acting there is no noticeable peak" end) would be big news.

Re:Cost Benefit? (1)

q2k (67077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484239)

She got some marketing propaganda on the new Mimimed CGMS system recently. Her initial reaction was "Great, now I'll need two infusion sets in me at all times, and at double the cost." And apparently the CGMS infusion set is electronically controlled to shut down after 3 days. No stretching an extra day or two out of an infusion set, like she does with the insulin sets.

But it is Gen 1 product, it'll get better. She beta tested the Gen 1 blood meters back in the day. It was the size of a textbook, had to be plugged in to work, and took about 10 minutes to render the reading. That was real convenient when you were out to dinner somewhere! 15 years later, they give away pager sized meters to get you buying the strips.

Now that I think about it, insulin pumps don't seem to be getting any cheaper to operate...

Whoopie for them (-1, Offtopic)

qurk (87195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483695)

Until they, like 100% or at least a majority of policeman agree that they don't want to be pawns of ultra-racist opportunist Harry Hanslinger and start lobbying for the repeal of Marijuana Prohibition, then in fact they are nothing more than pawns of Harry Anslinger and all other racists out there. Until I have a choice of buying a 12 pack of liquid poison or a freaking doobie at the convienience store, every policeman and every FDA member is nothing more than a self-service racist hypocrite. Look up Harry Anslinger if you think I'd being a little harsh. Billions of dollars wasted, millions of Americans imprisoned, and it's neccessary for me to be an ass on internet message boards about this? Is it not obvious? Alcohol has always been and always will be a more destructive drug than marijuana. You can justify all you want but the fact that you can drink yourself to death, yet smoke yourself asleep and yet the beer is legal, but pot is not and demonified. Thank you Harry Anslinger for creating this situation you self serving anti-American racist pig. And thank you every policeman too scared to speak up against the situation Harry Ansligner, you self-serving racist opportunist. How is that paycheck? Like being a racist pig? Yay!

The Poor Need Not Apply (1)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16483963)

New drug breakthroughs, same old pricing.

The good news is, if you're not at least upper-middle class, then in 5 or 6 years, when a better drug comes out, you'll finally be able to afford this one!

Since a lot of diabetics will be reading this ... (4, Informative)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484203)

I'd like to say to all the diabetics out there (I am a t2) that Cinnamon of all things has helped my diabetes tremendously. ome studies have shown that Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels quite a bit and help with cholesterol [newscientist.com] . It appears as if certain types of cinnamon contain molecules wich are chemically similar to insulin -- and as such can activate insulin receptors.

I have been doing this for the last few months and it has really turned the tide for me, before I really felt like I was loosing the battle against diabetes. The only trick is finding the right *kind* of cinnamon can be difficult. There are hundreds of types of cinnamon and the kind you want is commonly called "cassia" or "cinnamonium aromium" (sp?) or sometimes "cinnamonium romulus" (generally the chinese name). It is grown in indonesia and china. Problem being that most cinnamons sold in the US are blends of Saigon Cinnamon which does not seem to have the same properties. A number of nutrition stores sell cinnamon pills (vitamin shoppe, gnc) that have the correct cinnamon in them. Currently the best price i've found is at GNC -- if you buy their GNC card ($15/year) it knocks a bottle of 200 pills down to about $12. Before you say "thats expensive for cinammon" as yourself -- what are you spending on medication right now? On your glucophage, on your metformin, on your zocor, on your benazepril, on your insulin?

For me the cinnamon does not have the horrible side effects of things like metformin and glucophage. The side effects (sudden intense hunger, increased appetite) make me eat more, gain weight, and thus require more medication. I am not suggesting you replace your medications for cinnamon, but if you are having trouble controlling your blood sugar, try adding cinnamon to your diet. If you are not having trouble, try replacing some of your medication with cinnamon.

I am planning on starting a website soon about this to try and get the word out. How many times in life is there something simple and safe that can improve your health?

Why so quick to fawn over patents? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484477)

The FDA and USPTO are what enable the profits of big pharma. You can't patent a vitamin.

If you're at risk for diabetes, control your diet, exercise, and take chromium [bioactivenutrients.com] . Chromium for diabetes is not new. It's three or four decades old.

The link to the vendor I provided listed only the positive studies. There are some negative studies as well. Because chromium opens up the cell gateway for fat, my personal unscientific opinion is that it accelerates fat loss or gain, depending on diet. That's been my experience -- when on chromium, I gain or lose weight faster.

And while I'm on the topic of unpatentable vitamins, at least half the people on Prozac should just be taking copper and zinc instead. The theory goes that they're no longer present in our food due to overfarming, so we need to take them as supplements.

IANAD

Not Impressed (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 7 years ago | (#16484505)

I've got Diabetes II. Really, you *don't* need drugs to treat it. It sounds clichéd, but exercise, a good diet, and (if it's your thing) supplements like garlic and cinnamon and you'll be fine.

I get a little annoyed at the "Illness? Take a pill!" attitude I see so much of today.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?