Ten percent of the American population or 29 million Americans have diabetes. One and a half million people are diagnosed every year. Doctors say it’s critical for patients to control blood sugar levels to avoid serious complications like kidney, heart or eye damage. But more doctors may be moving toward prescribing a treatment that is easier for patients to remember to take on-the-go.
Jo-Anne Brown whips up a healthy dinner most nights of the week. Husband Al is only too happy to dig in. Al loves corn, but knows he has to watch his starches and carbs.
“The bad food is like a pizza. You eat one or two slices and zoom! Up it goes,” Al Brown said.
For the past 15 years, Al has struggled with type-two diabetes. He’s been on insulin, starting with pills then moving to shots to control his blood sugar.
“You do different things during the day. Maybe you’re a little forgetful. There are times when you do forget,” Al confessed.
“If they’re on pills, compliance is easier, but if they’re on shots before each meal it’s difficult to comply,” Dr. Sung-Eun Yoo, an Endocrinologist at the Cary Endocrine and Diabetes Center said.
Yoo says an insulin treatment that is easier to administer has become a priority for some patients. No need to carry a cooler with insulin or needles.
For the past year, Brown has been using the V-Go insulin patch. The V-Go is a small waterproof patch placed on the body. A patient clicks to deliver a unit of insulin into the skin.
“You push it. That’s where the needle penetrates your stomach, if you will. Pretty painless, really,” Al Brown said.
Al refills the insulin and changes the patch daily. He says it’s one way to assist him with insulin control, and not gamble with his health.
The V-Go is covered by Medicare Part D and doctors say a growing number of insurance companies are now covering the insulin patch.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer, Roque Correa; Editor.