Traditionally, many media writers spend time about now wrapping up the year that's just ending, recounting news, deaths, and what-not that happened in 2008.
The Economist magazine, however, takes a different approach, making predictions for the year ahead. In a similar spirit of prognostication, here are my predictions for what will happen in diabetes for 2009. I have no idea how accurate I'll be for most of these, and next year we'll have to dissect my guesswork. Listed in no particular order:
* Avandia (rosiglitazone) will be voluntarily taken off the market. Avandia has had cardiac safety problems resulting in label changes and it is becoming less-and-less profitable for the manufacturer. In an unexpected fit of ethics, the manufacturer would make it clear that they consider ethics more important than satisfying their shareholders. FDA officials, newspaper editors, and financial analysts worldwide will be utterly amazed.
* Trials for inhaled insulin will be totally discontinued by Mannkind, joining Pfizer (who took its approved inhaled insulin product, Exubera off the market), and Novo-Nordisk and Lilly (who discontinued trials before getting regulatory approval for their versions).
* School cafeterias will make use of low-calorie products for overweight children mandatory. Probably wishful thinking on my part, but it would be another step to help curb the obesity problem and the secondary effect of childhood type 2 diabetes.
* School report cards will include the BMI measurements of the schoolchild. BMI, a measure of obesity, should be easy for every school nurse to do, and reporting on the schoolkids' BMIs on a regular basis along with their grades in math, and their deportment (whatever that is!), would help parents and schoolkids to understand the importance of weight management.
* The internet will have more scams for products that "help regulate blood glucose." Need more be said?
* New meters will be free, but the price of strips will increase. Meter prices are, IMHO, artificial; most people can get freebies from their physician or nurse educator. It's the sales of the strips that makes the difference in the companies' bottom lines.
* Another famous celebrity will acknowledge that they have diabetes, and comes out of their closet, joining Mary Tyler Moore, Larry King, singer Bret Michaels, Miss America Nicole Johnson, actress Halle Berry, and governor Mike Huckabee.
* The American Diabetes Association will merge with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Probably won't happen, but I have to hope. Why should there be two competing not-for-profit organizations, with two sets of administrative costs, who continually confuse the public about who's more interested in seeking "the cure", two sets of lobbyists in Washington, DC, two sets of meetings, two of everything.
* The cure for diabetes will be announced by some obscure scientist somewhere. No published studies will be available, and diabetes organizations worldwide will ignore the announcement. Within a month, no further newstories about this cure will be forthcoming.