Patients petition for artificial pancreas

Nov. 15, 2011 at 12:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- More than 100,000 people petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue clear and reasonable guidance for development of an artificial pancreas.

Jeffrey Brewer, president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, said the petition signatures reinforce the critical need for the development of technology that will dramatically transform life for people with type 1 diabetes.

"This incredible groundswell of support should not be ignored by the FDA," Brewer said in a statement. "The development of artificial pancreas systems is a top priority for kids and adults living with type 1 diabetes. Research has demonstrated the dramatic impact the artificial pancreas could have -- saving lives, transforming quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes and reducing preventable medical complications."

The petition signers called on the FDA to "adopt outside clinical recommendations allowing short term in-hospital evaluation of artificial pancreas systems followed by outpatient trials no more than three months long."

Brewer said the artificial pancreas will be an external device which people with T1D could use to do what their bodies cannot -- control both high and low blood sugar around the clock.

It works by combining a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump with sophisticated computer software to provide automatically the right amount of insulin at the right time, Brewer explained.

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