There is no doubt that diabetes is a complex disease to diagnose and treat.
That’s something I’ve seen firsthand as an endocrinologist. Over the years, I treated a number of patients that had a variety of endocrine disorders, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For each patient, finding the right treatment and helping them manage the disease was a challenge.
It’s also something I’ve seen firsthand as a father. When my son was 15 years old, he came to me with some symptoms, and after running a few diagnostic tests, I diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes. We were heartbroken. At the time he was an active baseball player, and he was instantly worried he would no longer be able to play. Luckily, he had a great support system through his coach and teammates, and he finished out the season.
And today, I see it firsthand through my work with the biopharmaceutical companies who are leading efforts to discover new treatments and cures. I’ve heard from these researchers about the setbacks along the way, but I’ve also heard the amazing stories of success. The progress we’ve made to date in treating diabetes is terrific, but we’re not done yet.
Every day, I hear of new approaches under consideration for treating diabetes, and a new PhRMA report highlights the more than 170 new medicines in development. These advancements are not only changing the way we, as researchers and physicians, think about this disease, but also the way patients think about this disease and its potential impact on their lives. For example, looking at insulin and the changes in the kinds of insulin patients can take, you now see some that last a full day and others that are more fast-acting depending on what the patient needs.
And I’m sure there are more advancements to come. One of the amazing things about these researchers is their dedication to finding the next treatment, from the day-to-day ups and downs of medical research to working toward a cure. The hope their work provides patients and their families is invaluable, and we need to make sure we maintain a health care system that fosters the development of tomorrow’s diabetes treatments and cures.
Read the full report, “Medicines in Development for Diabetes,” here.
Learn more about ways PhRMA supports empowering and engaging consumers here.
Bill Chin, M.D. Dr. Bill Chin is the former chief medical officer of PhRMA and led the Scientific & Regulatory Advocacy department as executive vice president through the fall of 2017.