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06 Jul 2020

Summer Forum discusses ‘game-changing’ weekly insulin therapy

The time difference and the lack of networking impacted the first virtual American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Conference, according to the DPC Summer Forum.

The panel, which brings together top diabetes opinion leaders, has been created so together they can discuss and decipher some of the main outcomes of the June conference.

The DPC Summer Forum is a series of CPD-accredited, free-to-access online sessions made up of interactive panel discussions. The first one took place on Wednesday, June 24 and was chaired by Dr Kevin Fernando who said he “enjoyed” the conference and liked having access to all the sessions on demand.

However, Dr Patrick Holmes, said: “Indeed there was no networking and no jet lag, but actually the time difference was an issue. All these sessions are in Chicago which is more than six hours behind us, so it was difficult to be in tune with all the sessions. I missed the face to face interaction.”

Nurse Consultant Debbie Hicks told the panel she had missed “learning how other people perceive information and what take they have on it”.

They then moved on to discuss a series of interesting sessions they had all viewed, but Dr Fernando said there was a particular one he wanted to talk about.

He said: “What grabbed my attention and certainly seemed very popular on social media was the weekly insulin therapy for people living with type 2 diabetes.

“The topline message was it seemed to be the equivalent to glargine in terms of hbA1c reduction and adverse effects. This is a potential game changer for type 2 diabetes, particularly in primary care.”

Debbie agreed, saying it would have been helpful to have access to the insulin over the COVID-19 period because community nurses had been experiencing “major problems” giving insulin to people who needed it. She added that she believed it could be the “way forward”, providing this new product is safe to use.

Consultant Pharmacist Philip Newland-Jones Philp expressed concern about giving the insulin to older people saying the difficulty with the ultra-long basal insulins can be “predictability” and he warned that there are “practical issues to think about” particularly when it comes to giving the medication.

Dr David Strain said he had a “few issues” because the older population are prone to urinary tract infections which would impact their kidney function, with potentially “devastating effects”.

Dr Holmes agreed, but also reminded them that the findings were only from a phase two trial, so therefore was early data.

The next DPC Summer Forum will take place on July 8 from 7pm. 

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Dr Strain will return, but this time as session chair, while the panel will once again feature Dr  Holmes and Debbie Hicks. They will be joined by Consultant Diabetologist Dr Marc Evans Consultant Diabetologist and Victoria Ruszala, a Specialist Diabetes and Endocrine Pharmacist.

This series of meetings is supported by AstraZeneca with an arms length grant. 

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