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Dr Arti Masturzo Gives an In-Depth Look at CCS Survey Results Showing Misconceptions Around Diabetes Management

Author(s):

Survey results from more than 1500 patients with diabetes revealed that 57% believed glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) weight loss drugs alone could be a "silver bullet" for managing their health goals.

Earlier this year, a survey by CCS shed light on patient misconceptions about living with diabetes, particularly regarding the efficacy of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) weight loss drugs as a “silver bullet” solution for managing health goals—a belief shared by more than half of survey participants.1

Key Topics

0:07 — GLP-1 misconceptions

1:05 — Dangers of the "silver bullet" mindset

3:06 — How to address misconceptions

5:03 — Education and engagement

7:45 — Diabetes-related emergencies

9:33 — Over-the-counter CGM approval

11:47 — More frequent touchpoints

According to Arti Masturzo, MD, MBA, chief medical officer of CCS, patients believing that GLP-1 weight loss drugs are a standalone treatment poses several dangers, including overlooking potential side effects and long-term implications. In an interview with The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®), she explained that, while some patients may benefit from these medications, many might not tolerate them long-term or maintain health benefits after discontinuing treatment. Additionally, the cost and accessibility of these drugs remain significant concerns, particularly for those with obesity and diabetes. Masturzo added that it's crucial to weigh the benefits and risks holistically and ensure these treatments reach those who need them most, considering the broader impact on chronic conditions beyond just weight loss.

When asked what health care providers can do to combat the misconception about GLP-1 weight loss drugs, Masturzo said integrating them into comprehensive care plans can help. Similar to gastric bypass surgery, she said these drugs should be part of a holistic approach that includes counseling, education, dietary prescriptions, and mental health support. However, current challenges such as staffing limitations and cost pressures may hinder optimal implementation, making collaboration with organizations like CCS crucial to ensure patients receive the support needed for long-term health benefits.

In this interview, Masturzo also emphasized what health care organizations can do to address the glaring lack of patient education and support highlighted by the survey, especially considering 42% of respondents experienced life-threatening emergencies related to their diabetes, many of which could have been prevented with adequate support.2 As Masturzo explained, this underscores the need to move away from a routine diagnosis approach towards fostering meaningful patient-clinician relationships and supplementing care with comprehensive solutions. Some strategies include early engagement, providing appropriate device education and onboarding, and offering a multimodal approach to meet diverse patient needs.

“The problem is we wait until the end to try to engage, and that's not when it's effective,” Masturzo told AJMC. “So, you start early, you monitor, you empower patients to be able to manage their condition themselves, but then also give them the tools. And I think one of the ways that we fall short today is that we don't often meet patients where they are.”

Just before the CCS report was published, the FDA approved the Dexcom Stelo Glucose Biosensor System, making it the first over-the-counter continuous glucose monitor (CGM) available starting summer 2024.3 While it is too early to determine how this CGM could affect patient self-monitoring and education, Masturzo said its impact depends on several factors. Concerns about health equity and access persist, as the availability and affordability of the device may exacerbate existing disparities. Additionally, while advancements in technology are encouraging, their impact ultimately hinges on accompanying education and support, as behavioral change is paramount, especially for individuals less invested in their health management.

“I'm not sure that any device—whether it's a smart watch or a smart ring or a direct-to-consumer glucose device—is going to be able to address that,” Masturzo said about getting patients more engaged. “I think we're going to need more than devices and therapies.”

With all these factors in mind, health care systems face the challenge of accommodating patients' desire for more frequent clinical touchpoints in diabetes management, particularly amidst resource constraints. According to Masturzo, the key lies in collaboration and breaking down silos within the health care ecosystem. Over 70% of survey respondents expressed openness to involving various stakeholders in their care, suggesting an opportunity for health systems to leverage existing solutions and partnerships. By fostering a collaborative approach and leveraging trusted suppliers such as CCS, health care organizations can enhance patient engagement and deliver more comprehensive care.

References

  1. Klein HE. CCS report reveals misconceptions among people living with diabetes; calls for enhanced engagement, education. AJMC. March 8, 2024. Accessed May 2, 2024. https://www.ajmc.com/view/ccs-report-reveals-misconceptions-among-people-living-with-diabetes-calls-for-enhanced-engagement-education
  2. CCS. Misconceptions and fragmentation: the state of diabetes care in America. March 7, 2024. Accessed May 2, 2024. https://ccsmed.com/consumerinsights/
  3. Klein HE. FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Continuous Glucose Monitor. AJMC. March 6, 2024. Accessed May 2, 2024. https://www.ajmc.com/view/fda-approves-first-over-the-counter-continuous-glucose-monitor
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