Dr. Pam R. Taub talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed at the 2016 AACE Meeting. In part 7 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Taub explains her comfort level with the newest drugs.
Dr. Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who focuses on general and preventive cardiology. As a general cardiologist, she works with patients to diagnose and prevent heart disease, as well as manage conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, coronary artery disease, or heart failure. Her own research—focused on how epicatechin (a compound found in dark chocolate) can improve mitochondrial structure and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure and diabetes—has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Cardiology, and has resulted in multiple publications in top journals. She is also developing and testing new biomarkers (blood tests) to predict cardiovascular risk, as well as studying the mechanisms of statin-related muscle complaints and decreases in exercise capacity and using epicatechin to treat them.
Transcript of this video segment:
Steve: Now we have some drugs that are very interesting. If I was going to be a physician, I think this would be a good time to become a physician, because you have a lot more tools. From 1950 to 1995 we only had one oral drug to treat diabetes. Now we’ve got over 11,398 combination possibilities, makes it more confusing, but we certainly have the tools. There’s no reason why anybody should walk around with elevated blood sugars with all the knowledge that we have on diet and physical activity and all these new drugs. Plus we have insulin. You can always get someone’s blood sugar down with insulin. That’s a no brainer. And yet, in this country if you add up all the people with and look at their blood sugars, you’ll probably come up with an A1C that’s over 9%, for those people including those that don’t go to doctors that have diabetes. And yet we have all these tools available to us. It blows my mind why so many people are not being treated properly. That’s one of the reasons we have our newsletter is to educate the physicians, take better care of their patients. Getting back to what I was saying is this is a very unique time because within the last 5 years we’ve found that certain drugs actually reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease at the same time lowering blood sugars. The SGLT-2s. Do you see a lot of those drugs? Do you recommend those type of things to your patients or do you feel secure using those drugs?
Dr. Taub: It’s a very exciting time because of a lot of the outcome data that has come out, especially the Empa-Reg study with the SGLT-2 inhibitor. It’s exciting because the reduction in cardiovascular mortality in hospitalizations, death from MI. It’s very significant. As cardiologists we have to pay attention to that data because those are all of our patients. The patients with diabetes, those are the ones that are having a significant amount of heart attacks. It’s an exciting time to be practicing medicine. We, as cardiologists definitely need to know the data. This data has actually pushed me to prescribe these medications that alter cardiovascular mortality to my patients.
To view other segments in this video series:
Part 1: A Cardiologist’s Perspective on Diabetes
Part 2: New Cholesterol Drugs PCSK9 Inhibitors
Part 3: PCSK9 Side Effects
Part 4: Working with Diabetes Patients
Part 5: Advice on Treatment Methods
Part 6: Starting on PCSK9s
Part 7: Recommending New Drugs
Part 8: Results of Using New Drugs