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Letter from the Editor #486

Sep 16, 2009

This week Par Pharmaceutical announced that they had been granted approval to market generic Starlix (Nateglinide). See this week’s New Product. Does the approval of this generic effectively mean we have a new treatment for Diabetes available? I think it does. When Starlix and Prandin first came out, the state of diabetes was much different. Management was not as aggressive in 2000 when Starlix was first available. Insurance companies did not wield so much power and there was less concern of costs. In addition the thought of a regimen of 3 times a day for a Type 2 patient did not make sense.  

Now with multiple drugs being used 2-3 times a day and insurance companies dictating which drugs a patient can use, it makes more sense for nateglinide to be used. In addition, a study done 6 years ago and published by Alvarsson M, et al. in Diabetes Care (2003;26:2231-2237) proved that long term use of sulfonylurea drugs, because of their long acting mechanisms actually decrease the pancreatic ability to respond to glucose excursions.


This idea plus the chance of hypoglycemia has led many clinicians away from prescribing sulfonylureas. Nateglinide because of its short duration and requirement of food to activate its mechanism does not have some of the inherent problems often associated with the sulfonylurea medications.  

It will be interesting to see if you as clinicians look at this newly available generic as a way to help your patients achieve better care.  

If you would like to share your comments or concerns about the use of nateglinide with me please do by e-mailing me at editor@diabetesincontrol.com.

We all know that Diabetes is the leading cause of lower extremity amputations in this country and the best way for our patients to prevent this from happening is to take good care of their feet. This week we have a great video from Dr. Steven Edelman, Dr. Ingrid Kruse and Dr. Craig Wargon on essential foot care for people with diabetes. There are some great tips and techniques that we can all use with our patients. This is a must watch for your staff and employees so they can help you help your patients. http://www.listal.com/video/4021059

dLife: Sept. 20, 7PM ET on CNBC

We’re facing the toughest economic times in decades, and those with diabetes can be hit especially hard. We’ll have one family’s story. Plus, find out how to get the most out of your health insurance benefits. And Chef Michel Nischan prepares a low-carb seafood dish just bursting with nutrients and flavor! For more inspiring stories, watch dLifeTV:

Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT.

TCOYD Diabetes Conference, September 19, 2009

Join the “Taking Control of Your Diabetes” staff and enjoy a whole day of learning about your diabetes. TCOYD will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 19, 2009. Just go to www.TCOYD.com and register.



We can make a difference!



Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question.

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief


PS. Need a break from diabetes information? Then check out this amazing commercial that was made years ago. The music is great and everything is real — no animation, the cars do fly.