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Addressing Challenges in Diabetes Panel Discussion

Jan Berger, MD, MJ, begins the discussion by asking the panelists what they believe to be the biggest challenge in addressing diabetes.
Jan Berger, MD, MJ, begins the discussion by asking the panelists what they believe to be the biggest challenge in addressing diabetes.

Amy Tenderich, a patient with diabetes and an important advocate for patients with diabetes through her website Diabetes Mine, says, “I think there is sort of this breakdown in recognition of what the reality is of living with a chronic illness like diabetes. I think that if this were permeated throughout the pharma industry, throughout payers, providers—a better understanding of what that is actually like—we would have better solutions today.”

Maria Lopes, MD, MS, explains that there is no blanket solution to fix the problem at large. She says, “What makes patients change, and what do they need to change?  It is not a phone call. It is certainly not a newsletter, and when you hang up the phone with that patient, maybe 5 other phone calls have to take place to actually fix the problem that starts with understanding at the patient level what is driving nonadherence.”

Josh Benner, PhD, ScD, adds, “How do we improve the health of the population while being patient-centered or personalized in our approach? Because the past 2 decades of old-style disease management have proven to us that you just can't blast a population with a 1-size-fits-all intervention and expect your problems to go away, your health status to improve.”

According to Ms Tenderich, perhaps a motivational tool is something that should be considered. She says, “The challenge, the core challenge with an illness like diabetes, is remember this is for life, this is not going away, and when I look ahead, I mean I have had diabetes for 10 years now, and I mean I don't hardly know anyone with type 1 who is an adult who hasn't experienced clinical depression.”

She adds, “People feel that they are being punished with this illness, and we talk about programs that incentivize providers, and that is great, but there needs to be some reward or some sense of accomplishment that the patient can have over time.” 



 
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