In part 2 of this Exclusive Interview, Tim Dunn talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed about the CGM as more than a tool but as a form of treating diabetes.
Tim Dunn, Ph.D., is the director of Clinical and Computational Research and an Abbott Volwiler Research Fellow.
Transcript of this video segment:
Freed: The A1C is the gold standard in this industry for now at least. And it’s really an important number. I call it the quality of life number. I tell patients all the time that that number will determine when you’re going to live or die. It determines your risk factor for Alzheimer’s, for heart disease, for cancer because when your A1C is elevated, your immune system is completely screwed up and you’re more susceptible to every disease known to man. So, with your new product, the Libre, we’re getting more information. Does it have a tendency to lower A1Cs which is the gold standard, that it can actually be treated not as a monitor but as a treatment? I mean, it’s a whole different philosophy.
Dunn: It is, yeah. I mean, it’s a tool that’s been well adopted. For example, both of our original randomized control trials showed that people made adjustments immediately. As soon as they were able to see the data, they were able to primarily react to hypoglycemia and fix the excessive hypoglycemia they had. And then we have been seeing improvements in time in range, and improvements in glucose variability. And we’re still focused on HbA1c, that’s why this meta analysis we have is really putting that together, showing that people are able to lower their long risk by managing the day-to-day fluctuations, having access to it and getting a better understanding of how they might address that.
Freed: It’s kind of neat that it’s really the patient that’s lowering their A1C with the knowledge from the glucose monitor, the CGM. Yet, it’s still treated as a product and not as a treatment per se.
Dunn: Yeah. I mean, you’re right. We see it as a tool that patients need and the whole set of tools and skills they need for successful management. I guess, one thing I think about is how often people do typically check their glucose. What we’re seeing is people — whatever level of testing; most of them in our studies aren’t once a week, like you mentioned, but more on two to five per day. They typically check two or three times more often than whenever they came on it. And it’s sort of saying they have a need and they have an interest to look and understand it. But before they had easy quick access, it wasn’t a big hassle, it just was too difficult to get it. But once they get it, then they are using it and they are being able to make adjustments. That they already know and have the right skills, they just didn’t have the right data.
Freed: What is the significance of the real world data for this patient population?
Dunn: To me, it’s really showing how the findings we’re getting in our clinical trials match or a lineup and support the findings we’ve had in our clinical trials. And that even as we expand the data across a larger population that we’re still seeing the same types of trends. That it is typical for people to, again, to check very often with their glucose. And then, those that are checking more often are able to make the adjustments or integrate into their diabetes management to have less variability, less time in hypoglycemia, lower average values. And so, I think that’s an ongoing theme that’s just making people understand that worldwide today we’re seeing people checking their glucose 13 times per day with the system. That’s an unheard of number of finger-sticks.