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A device alert for Animas insulin infusion pumps has been issued due to a software problem that will prevent them from operating after 31 December 2015. Animas IR1200, Animas IR1250 or Animas 2020 pump users are being contacted by letter from the manufacturer to arrange for a replacement.


If you use one of these pumps and don't receive a letter, you should contact Animas on 0800 055 6606.




Diabetes UK and Tesco Launch New Partnership


Diabetes UK is delighted to be Tesco's national charity partner for 2013-2014. Launched on 4 March, the partnership will see various fundraising and awareness-raising activities with the aim of raising £10m, which will be used to make life-changing differences to the lives of adults and children with all types of diabetes.


This is the biggest partnership with charity has ever had and means Diabetes UK can reach more people with important information about the condition. Together, Tesco and Diabetes UK will:


- provide life-changing support to people who are just diagnosed, or already living with the condition, helping them to feel better equipped to manage their diabetes.


- run an awareness campaign that could help thousands of people to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes by reversing their risk.


- fund research into a vaccine that makes a future without type 1 Diabetes a possibility and has the potential to break new ground in diabetes research.


Diabetes UK Chief Executive Barbara Young told Balance: "We're so excited to be working in partnership with Tesco. It will enable us to raise the profile of diabetes in the UK and, more importantly, give us the opportunity to change lives."


To find out more about the partnership, visit the campaign microsite at




NEW Insulin Treatment


Insulin degludec - marketed under brand name tresiba - has received EMA (European Medicines Agency) approval and is now available on prescription.


Novo Nordisk states that this ultra-long acting basal insulin analogue has a duration action that can last up to 40 hours. This is longer than the 18-26 hours provided by other insulins currently marketed as 'long-acting,' such as glargine and insulin determir. There is no peak activity, because the insulin is slowly released into the body. Trials of the drug have shown rates of nocturnal hypoglycaemia were reduced by a quarter.


Although the drug is now available in the UK, it is not yet approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the United States. Press reports state that the FDA wants a further trial to study cardiovascular risk. However, the differences seen in 16 large clinical trials have apparently not been statistically significant.


Simon O'Neill, Diabetes UK's Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison, told balance. "This new insulin will give clinicians and people with diabetes another useful tool to help maximise blood glucose control, reducing the risk of long-term diabetes complications, while minimising the risk of hypoglycaemia. As with any new medication, the use of Tresiba should be discussed between the person with diabetes and their healthcare professional to decide whether it is the best choice for them.




NICE recommends Lucentis


Draft guidance recommending that a potentially sight-saving drug should be made available on the NHS to treat people with diabetic macular oedema (DMO) has been issued by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).


The guidance recommends Lucentis (Ranibizumab) is used as a treatment for the eye condition and if the final guidance - expected to be published as balance went to press at the end of February - goes ahead, this treatment would become available on the NHS. It is already approved for use in Scotland, as reported in January - February 2013 balance.


At least 50,000 people in the UK could be affected by DMO, a serious eye condition that can lead to sight loss as a result of fluid leaking from the small blood vessels in the eye. Traditionally, laser treatment has been the standard treatment on the NHS, yet this only stops vision from deteriorating further. Lucentis, which is given in the form of an injection in the eye, is the first licensed treatment to improve vision in people with sight loss due to DMO.


In 2011, NICE announced its original decision not to recommend Lucentis as a treatment for people with DMO. Diabetes UK, together with JDRF, the Macular Disease Society (MDS) and the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) appealed this decision, arguing that NICE failed to act fairly as key patient organisations and clinicians were not given the opportunity to comment on significant new evidence submitted by the manufacturer Novartis, which may have led to incorrect conclusions being drawn in the final decision.


The decision from NICE comes after Novartis submitted a revised patient access scheme, together with analyses of updated effects of the drug for people with DMO.


Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, told balance: "We are delighted that this draft guidance recommends that Lucentis is made available on the NHS. This would mean more people with diabetes would have a better opportunity to preserve and possibly improve their vision."


Check the latest update at




Essential Guide for Children and Young People


Diabetes UK is launching Type 1 essentials for children and young people - a handy guide for parents that outlines the basic care, checks and help their child should receive.


This comes as it was reported in the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit 2012 that more than 85 per cent of children and young people over the age of 12 have blood glucose levels higher than recommended targets. Worryingly, only 6 per cent of children and young people have all the recommended care processes recorded.


Libby Dowling, Diabetes UK's Clinical Advisor, told balance: "We want all parents who have a child affected by the condition to know what good care looks like, and to know what to do if their child isn't getting the care they're entitled to."


This campaign will be launched in March 2013 at Diabetes UK's Professional Annual Conference, and is the second part of the charity's five-year children's campaign.


For more details about the guide, go to




3.8 million People in the UK have diabetes (previously 3.7 million) - 3 million live with Type 1 and Type 2, and 850,000 have Type 2 but don't know it.


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