Victoza for People with Type 1 Diabetes (Continued)
I'm not suggesting that Victoza is a miracle drug or a diabetic elixir. It's not, but it is working for me in new ways and complementing the insulin. Clearly, my pancreas doesn't make insulin any more, so the drug is not working in exactly the same way it does for people with type 2 diabetes. But GLP-1s also affect appetite (you don't get so hungry) and satiety (you don't eat such large portions) and they also reduce the amount of sugar that the liver releases into the blood. My guess is that the combination of these things leads to weight loss and better control after meals. We don't really know for sure because relatively little work has been done on GLP-1s and type 1 diabetes.
The main point — and a big reason I'm writing this column — is that I'm disappointed that I have to take Victoza "off label," which connotes something improper. I understand that many type 1 patients won't try Victoza for just that reason. And I wouldn't ever encourage anyone to take a drug off label! But, the only way to remove that barrier is for Novo Nordisk to begin meaningful trials with type 1 patients — and I wish this had been done long ago. Large-scale trials aren't cheap, but they're necessary to gain the approval of products that can achieve real breakthroughs. Insulin likely isn't the only thing type 1 patients are missing — here's to a study that can find out more about gut hormones in type 1 diabetes.
I realize, in my case with Victoza, that I am a sample of only one, but in that one, Victoza not only improved my glucose control but also bolstered my faith in the continued progress of diabetic therapies. All type 1 patients should have that opportunity. I urge Novo Nordisk to make the commitment, make the investment, and make it happen.
And, thank you to the researchers and scientists who developed this new class. You've made me feel so much better, all of you. Thank you, thank you.
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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...