2009: Year in Review (Continued)

  • Medtronic Veo launched in EU: Combined insulin pumps and CGM systems are nothing new: Medtronic has had integrated units for several years now. But this isn't the same as "closing the loop." Previous systems could alert users when their blood glucose was getting too low, but even when connected to the pump they could not suspend insulin delivery. The Medtronic Veo is the first system that can automatically suspend your insulin when the CGM detects hypoglycemia. Currently, the Veo is only approved in Europe but is in testing in the U.S. We do believe that the FDA, whose resources have been squeezed, has slowed the approval process – we also believe that requirements will become more challenging for device manufacturers going forward. 
  • New Insulin Pens came to market in 2009 from Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi – making it easier for patients to give insulin shots to themselves or loved ones. While we were very happy to see improvements on this front, we look for improvements in insulin itself in the year ahead – it still makes us gain weight and gives many of us hypoglycemia, two of the worst side effects around. Given that nearly $14 billion worth of insulin was sold globally in 2009 according to our estimates, we'd love to see even more research and development dollars go into greater innovation in this field.
  • And if you don't have diabetes but want to know your risk, you can ask your doctor if it makes sense to try out a new test from Tethys that tells you your chances for getting type 2 diabetes in the next five years (i.e., your short- to medium-term diabetes risk). If you have type 2 diabetes, your family members who are at highest risk (children or siblings) may want to ask their doctor if this test is for them. To read more about Tethys and this test, see here.

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Last Modified Date: April 23, 2013

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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