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Predictions about Diabetes for 2012   (December 31, 2011)

Back in December 2008, I posted some predictions about what might happen in the area of diabetes during 2009.

I just looked back at that essay, and it's somewhat discouraging, but most of my guesses didn't come true -- and to tell the truth, most can (and will!) be repeated word-for-word for 2012. Here are my predictions for what will happen in diabetes for 2012, listed in no particular order of importance:

Avandia (rosiglitazone) will be finally be taken off the market. Avandia has had major cardiac safety problems resulting in ever-more-stringent 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 astonished.

The inhaled insulin product being developed by Mannkind (Afrezza, pronounced uh-FREZZ-uh according to their website) will be renamed to something that people can actually remember and pronounce, as their marketing department realized one of the many reasons that Pfizer's inhaled insulin failed was its silly name (Pfizer called its product Exubera).

The internet will have more scams for products that "help regulate blood glucose." Need more be said?

Another famous celebrity will acknowledge that they have diabetes, and come out of their closet, joining actress Mary Tyler Moore, TV host Larry King, singer Bret Michaels, Miss America Nicole Johnson, actress Halle Berry, and ex-governor Mike Huckabee.

The American Diabetes Association will merge with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Almost definite that this 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 news stories about this alleged cure will be forthcoming.

The prognostications above are all virtually the same as I predicted in 2008. Here are some more:

Bydureon, which is a long-acting version of Byetta (exenatide) that is given once-weekly, will finally receive FDA approval.

Dapagliflozin, the first in a new class of diabetes drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors), will not receive FDA approval: in July 2011 an FDA advisory committee had recommended against approval until more data was available, and the FDA will demand more data.

Dexcom and Animas will finally get FDA approval and promptly start marketing their combination CGM-insulin pump, to be called the Animas Vibe, in the United States. It's been available in the UK for several months, and  promised to be in the States for over a year, but what the hay, the FDA approval process is slow for devices as well as for drugs. Hopefully this Vibe will be more successfully than the Pontiac version of the Vibe.

An insulin pump that looks vaguely like an iPhone (including having a touch-screen), and which is called the "t:slim" will be available in the second half of 2012. It will not have any other fancy features, like communicating with meters or CGM devices. One of the two following statements will inevitably prove true: (1) It will be a total success as the pricing will be well below that of other insulin pumps. (2) It will be a total flop as the pricing will be well above that of other insulin pumps.

The TSA will finally show some common sense and realize that insulin pumps and CGM are not dangerous, and will allow people wearing insulin pumps & CGM devices to go through airport screening without any hassle.

The United States Congress will agree with the ADA that funding diabetes is important and will approve "funding for programs at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation; reauthorization of Special Diabetes Programs; funding for the National Diabetes Prevention Program and additional innovative ways to increase the overall federal funding dedicated to diabetes research and prevention" as requested by the ADA.

Well, that's enough forecasting for one year.

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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This page was new at D-is-for-Diabetes June 2, 2012

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