New Diabetes Products for 2017: Lancing Devices and Diabetes Drugs

For the last year, Diabetes Self-Management has been following all the new innovations and products aimed at helping to improve the lives of those living with diabetes. From the latest glucometers and monitoring systems to insulin pumps, pens, and treatments, several major advancements made their impact on the diabetes community in 2016.

When selecting some of the new products, we first talked to Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, clinical director of Integrated Diabetes Services of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Scheiner, known as the MacGyver of diabetes products, has lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 30 years. He tries out new products before recommending them to patients. “It’s important to see new products from the user’s point of view, not just from the [health-care practitioner’s] side of things,” said Scheiner.

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In 2016, the pace of innovation continued to race ahead with unbelievable technology right out of a Star Trek episode. The growing use of smartphone technology and mobile applications has led to better access to blood glucose readings, general health information, and much more. Read on to learn about the newest products. We guarantee you there’s something here for everyone, whether you live with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

In this installment, we look at lancing devices and diabetes drugs that have recently hit the market.

Lancing devices

Motivated to help a friend with Type 2 diabetes, bioengineer Christopher Jacobs, PhD, developed a new lancing device, called Genteel, to reduce the pain of pricking fingertips.

“I was moved by his distress, compelled by our friendship, and undone by the irresistible siren song that lies at the heart of every engineering challenge,” said Jacobs. For 10 years, Jacobs studied the limitations of current devices and the interconnection between blood capillaries and pain nerves.

What’s unique about the Genteel device is the lancet only reaches blood capillaries and avoids hitting the deeper pain nerves altogether. It’s the first FDA-cleared product that draws enough blood from not only the fingers, but other body sites.
The Genteel was approved by the FDA as the first Class II lancing device. In one patient survey, more than 82% noted that they experienced an improvement in satisfaction with their blood drawing experience.

New diabetes medicines

The FDA approved two combination products that contain long-acting insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, a hormone that helps normalize blood glucose levels. The products include Xultophy from Novo Nordisk and Soliqua from Sanofi. Xultophy combines the long-acting insulin degludec (Tresiba) with liraglutide (Victoza); Soliqua combines long-acting insulin glargine (Lantus) plus lixisenatide (Adlyxin).

Both products, which are available as once-daily injections, are part of a new class of diabetes treatments that combine a basal insulin and GLP-1 receptor agonists.

“I am excited for this new class of type 2 diabetes medication that can offer patients another treatment option to help them reach their goals,” said John Buse, MD, director of the Diabetes Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Jardiance (empagliflozin) is back in the news again, this time for becoming the first diabetes drug approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death. Developed by Boehringer Ingelheim, Jardiance was approved in 2014 as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood glucose levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

This new approval is based on data from a large study that showed the medication significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke by 14% versus placebo. This primary finding was driven by a significant 38% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death.

“People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes. The new indication for empagliflozin enables physicians for the first time to provide adults with Type 2 diabetes with a diabetes medication that can reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease,” said Christopher Cannon, MD, of the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School. “It also gives physicians an opportunity to speak with and educate people with Type 2 diabetes about their increased risk for cardiovascular disease and to help them understand this serious complication of their condition.”