Top Articles from Evidence-Based Diabetes Management for 2015

Stories about therapy, led by updates on Afrezza, were most popular with readers interested in diabetes care.

When it comes to diabetes care, reader preferences don’t always align with the market. The inhaled insulin Afrezza may be struggling with sales, but it’s a favorite with readers (and on social media, too). Articles about technology, drug pricing and approvals were also among the most-read items of the year for the publication, which pursued special issues on obesity, adherence, and innovation during 2015. Look for our upcoming issue, “All About Measurement,” early in 2016.

10. US Employee Wellness Programs and Access to Obesity Treatment in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance. This original article by Theodore K. Kyle, RPh, MBA; Joseph F. Nadglowski; Mechelle D. Claridy, MPH; and Fatima Cody Stanford, MD MPH, revealed a disconnect between employer sponsored health plans, most of which set weight and health goals and 16% of which required participation in wellness programs to receive full benefits. Yet these same plans often do not cover obesity medications. November 2015.

9. Dietary Panel Releases Report, Cholesterol Removed From List of Nutrients to Avoid. This was a key story in our ongoing coverage of the process that will result in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The report issued in February followed more than a year’s worth of work by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, including a controversial recommendation to that food choices reflect their effect on sustainability. The secretaries of Agriculture and HHS have said they will not include this recommendation. April 2015.

8. Glyxambi Approved, Combo Provides Actions of SGLT2, DPP-4 Inhibitors for Patients With T2DM. This first-in-class approval came in February and was part of a trend in type 2 diabetes care: combination therapy. Putting 2 therapies with different mechanisms of action into a single pill is designed to improve adherence and outcomes for patients. April 2015.

7. Medicare's Failure to Cover CGM at Odds With Other Health, Research Agencies. This commentary from US Senator Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, was the most significant of several pieces that The American Journal of Managed Care franchise published to highlight a coverage inequity: CMS does not pay for continuous glucose monitoring technology, despite the evidence that improved control keeps patients out of the emergency room. July 2015.

6. Study Suggests Method of Reducing Blood Clots Without Risking Bleeding. Coverage from the American Society of Hematology meeting in December 2014 featured one of the “Best of ASH” presentations that was also published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Factor XI, an important enzyme in the coagulation pathway, is naturally reduced in some people, and this group is at a lower risk of venous thromboembolism, or VTE. If Factor XI was reduced by other means in patients undergoing a surgical knee replacement—a procedure with high risk for blood clots—would the patients have reduced VTE? Researchers using injectable nucleic acid engineered to reduce Factor XI expression presented their results at a press conference and at a late-breaking session. January 2015.

5. Can mHealth Revolutionize Evidence-Based Practice in Diabetes Care? This original article by Betsy J. Lahue, MPH; Kathleen Hughes, MBA; Bethany J. Hills JD, MPH: Sophia S. Li, MPH; Jo Carol Hiatt, MD, MBA, FACS, explores the emergence of mobile health and the potential to revolutionize the delivery of care because of its “real time” potential. This paper grew out of a presentation at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Congress. July 2015.

4. On Lessons Learned: Express Scripts' Steve Miller, MD, Discusses HCV Experience, PCSK9 Inhibitors, and More. Through much of 2015, the pharmacy world waited for the arrival of the PCSK9 inhibitors, which had the potential to upend the balance sheets for health plans if patients who’d been taking statins discarded them for drugs that cost five-figures a year. As the approvals neared, EBDM’s Andrew Smith spoke with an expert who’s been surveying the drug pricing scene closely in recent years. July 2015.

3. How Digital Therapeutics Can Help Payers Comply With Upcoming Government Guidance-and Deliver Outcomes. Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, explained how a forthcoming USPSTF requirement for health plans to provide evidence-based diabetes prevention programs could be met through a digital solution. July 2015.

2. Sanofi Addresses Need for Spirometry Before Physicians Can Prescribe Afrezza. FDA’s approval of the inhaled insulin Afrezza came with a requirement: all patients must be screened for lung problems through a process called spirometry. Sanofi, the marketing partner for drug maker MannKind, used the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in June to educate physicians on how to address this requirement, and EBDM was on hand to cover it. July 2015.

1. Toujeo and Afrezza: New and Improved Insulins, Limited by FDA Labeling Constraints. Andrew Smith writes about the advantages of Sanofi’s successor to Lantus and the fast-acting inhaled insulin that’s been all the rage on social media—including the positives that showed up in clinical trials that the FDA kept off the approved labels. May 2015.