The most popular type 1 diabetes articles published in 2021 included new research on screening and updated coverage policy.
2021’s most-read articles on type 1 diabetes (T1D) touched on a wide array of topics, from islet transplantation to CMS coverage eligibility. Additional popular articles included research on optimal T1D screening ages, the effects of maternal diet, and approval of an interchangeable biosimilar.
5. An Overview of Islet Transplantation
In this video, published in June 2021, Camillo Ricordi, MD, FNAI, a professor and director of the Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami, Florida, describes how islet transplantation is carried out and why it may benefit individuals with T1D. In essence, the procedure allows the liver to complete its normal functions and that of a pancreas.
4. Optimal Age for T1D Screening
Data published in Diabetes Care in May 2021 showed the risk of developing islet autoimmunity declines exponentially with age and indicated the influence of major genetic factors on this risk is limited to the first few years of life. Islet autoimmunity precedes clinical T1D, and although the researchers did not specify a single time point, highest sensitivity was achieved when screening between ages 3 and 5 years, while screening genetically at-risk children at 2 time points increased sensitivity.
3. Maternal Diet Not Linked With T1D Risk
In May, researchers writing in Diabetologia concluded maternal food consumption during late pregnancy is not associated with offspring risk for islet autoimmunity or type 1 diabetes. To assess this potential relationship, investigators compiled data from the Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) multicenter observational study. Findings were also robust to sensitivity analyses.
2. CMS Aims to Broaden CGM Coverage
New changes announced by CMS in June permanently eliminated the 4 times or more per day testing requirement for devices to qualify as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices. The move also broadened coverage for those who use inhaled insulins by permitting multiple daily “administrations” of any insulin. Previously, this guidance was limited to insulin “injections.” Revisions went into effect in July 2021.
1. US’ First Interchangeable Biosimilar Approved
The most-read T1D story published in 2021 was the FDA’s approval of the first interchangeable biosimilar, insulin glargine, which allowed pharmacists to switch patients to the less expensive version of insulin absent the clinician’s approval. In the past, the insulin market has been the subject of Congressional hearing and reports documenting the high cost of treating diabetes. The move comes after insulins were added to the biologics that are approved under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act approval pathway in 2020.