Tag Archives: Type 2

Asking Congress to Get “ON IT” for Diabetes

By Topher Brooke, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes, AstraZeneca

Topher Brooke Headshot-2At AstraZeneca, we believe that real progress in improving type 2 diabetes outcomes starts with supporting patients in multiple ways, such as improving access to our medicines, providing educational programs and resources, and advocating on the patient’s behalf, to name a few. In March, we launched the ON IT Movement in partnership with Dr. Phil McGraw to raise awareness about type 2 diabetes through Dr. Phil’s personal experience, to spark further dialogue about what it’s like to live with the condition, and to motivate other patients to take action towards leading a healthier life.

Now, I’m excited that we’re taking the ON IT Movement a step further to advance the national conversation by addressing Congress on Capitol Hill, where we’ll highlight the challenges that people with type 2 diabetes face every day. Nearly 28 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes today, with another 86 million at risk of developing it. This condition costs our society over $245 billion annually. In order for change to occur, intervention must take place at multiple levels – from prevention, education and treatment to public health and policy-making – to take early action against type 2 diabetes.

On May 11, AstraZeneca and Dr. Phil will join policymakers and advocates on Capitol Hill to ask Congress for more support of those living with and at risk for developing diabetes and call attention to the patient experience. This unique opportunity allows us to meet with members of Congress and the Senate to discuss the goals of the ON IT Movement and to advocate for their constituents whose lives are impacted by diabetes.

The highlight of the day will be the “Get ON IT for Diabetes” bicameral congressional briefing where we will discuss the growing impact of type 2 diabetes in the United States. The Congressional Diabetes Caucus co-chairs, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), will provide opening remarks followed by a panel discussion. In addition to Dr. Phil, the panelists will include George Grunberger, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Robert E. Ratner, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E.; Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association (ADA), and Kelly Close, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of diaTribe; President and Founder, Close Concerns. Other prominent members of the type 2 diabetes community will join us to help strengthen and amplify our message to Congress, including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Endocrine Society and Taking Control of Your Diabetes.

So how can you help Congress get “ON IT” for type 2 diabetes and make your voice heard?

  • Visit the diabetes caucus website to learn about diabetes-related legislation that impacts Americans who live with the disease and the millions who are at risk of developing it.
  • Tell Congress the time is now to get ON IT and address the diabetes epidemic. We ask you to call or email your legislators and ask that they prioritize diabetes issues and increase support for those living with the disease. Or, you can reach out to your member of Congress via Twitter using #OnItMovement.

I also encourage you to visit OnItMovement.com to learn more about Dr. Phil and his 6 Rules for creating and sticking to a plan. While we push for progress in how type 2 diabetes is addressed and managed at a national level, it’s important to remember that even the smallest steps in the right direction can lead to significant change.

Follow @AstraZenecaUS and #OnItMovement on Twitter for updates leading up to and during our day on Capitol Hill.

Why People with Type 2 Diabetes Should Start a Walking Program

Today, more than 145 million adults in the United States include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle, and this staple exercise continues to grow in popularity. After all, walking can be done just about anywhere and, for most, is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

Exercise is an especially beneficial and critical component of the treatment plans for the nearly 28 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes. However, maintaining a fitness routine can be challenging, and while people may recognize that they need to exercise regularly, they may not know where to start. That’s why AstraZeneca and the Diabetes Hands Foundation launched the Everyday Steps walking program, which features a walking guide with 12 motivational tips to help people with type 2 diabetes start a daily walking routine – and stick with it.

ColbergDr. Sheri Colberg, a professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University and adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, recognizes how walking can benefit people with type 2 diabetes. For the past two decades, Dr. Colberg’s research has been devoted to exercise and type 2 diabetes, and ultimately, the benefits physical activity has on overall health. She’s also the author of 10 health-related publications focused on type 2 diabetes. Here, she helps to address some questions about the barriers people with type 2 diabetes may face when it comes to sticking to an exercise routine and how to push past them.

What are the biggest concerns you hear when you talk to people with type 2 diabetes about exercise?

Dr. Colberg: I see exercise as being the biggest challenge for them. In addition to managing other components of their treatment plan, many adults with type 2 diabetes can find maintaining a fitness regimen challenging and are unsure of how to get started. They think it might be dangerous, or they might be intimidated. They need to find activities that work for them. The goal is to find an activity that will allow them to start slowly – and progress slowly – in order to avoid injury and loss of motivation. What’s important to remember is that becoming more active means that they have the opportunity to gain more energy and feel more invigorated.

But, still there are barriers. Do you think that people are often overwhelmed by the idea of starting an exercise routine?

Dr. Colberg: Of course. But, the important thing to remember is that even if people have missed their scheduled fitness activity, they can still find ways to be active during the day. For example, they can add more steps as they go about their daily activities. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be structured. Exercise needs to be thought of as an active lifestyle, as opposed to a task or chore.

That’s a great point. Why is walking in particular a recommended form of physical activity for people with type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: Walking is a moderate and accessible activity and, most importantly, an excellent place to start in terms of beginning an exercise routine. Not only does walking help people with type 2 diabetes increase their fitness levels, but it also helps control blood glucose levels and improves the body’s ability to use insulin.

What are some quick tips to help people start and stay motivated with a walking routine?

Dr. Colberg: The key is to stop thinking of walking as a significant undertaking. Like the Everyday Steps guide suggests, using devices like a pedometer or smartphone app can help determine baseline fitness levels and track progress by adding steps as you go. Each time you walk, you can add a few more steps, so you are growing a healthy habit that becomes easier.

Besides walking, what other types of exercise can help people manage their type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: It’s beneficial to add resistance training to a fitness routine. As people age, it’s important to maintain as well as gain muscle mass. Resistance training can be a variety of things – using body weight, for example, planks, lunges, wall sits or resistance bands, hand weights and household items like full water bottles.

What is the most important message you’d like to share with people who have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: It’s important for them to commit to making long-term changes. By making small lifestyle changes in diet and adding more steps here and there, these small efforts end up having a large impact on their ability to manage diabetes.

To learn more about the Everyday Steps walking program and find tips to help people with type 2 diabetes find the motivation to start and maintain a walking routine, check out the walking guide at www.everydaystepsguide.com. Before beginning a fitness program, it’s important to talk to a doctor for guidance.

Dr. Phil’s 6 Rules to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

When faced with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, patients are often provided a plethora of information to absorb regarding their new health regimen, but are not necessarily given the tools to overcome psychological barriers that could impede their progress. Making lifestyle changes associated with managing type 2 diabetes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, making time for regular exercise, and committing to a treatment plan, often takes daily attention and the support of a team to succeed. With nearly 28 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes and another 86 million at risk for developing it, many are facing hurdles keeping them from committing to a plan and could use some guidance they can easily reference to stay on track with their health.

With this in mind, AstraZeneca’s ON IT Movement seeks to empower adults living with type 2 diabetes to make a personal commitment to live a healthier life. We are teaming up with Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the Dr. Phil show, who has been living with type 2 diabetes for more than 25 years. Dr. Phil is sharing his personal experience living with the condition and his professional experience as a former practicing clinical psychologist to inspire people to take action and more effectively manage the condition by working with their healthcare provider to create a treatment plan and stick to it.

As part of the movement, Dr. Phil is sharing his “6 Rules to Get ON IT” to help guide people with type 2 diabetes in overcoming psychological barriers so they can create a plan and stick to it:

  1. Move forward. Dismiss the sense of shame or personal failure you may feel as a result of your diagnosis, and any uninformed judgments around you. There are risk factors for type 2 diabetes that you can’t control like family history, personal history, age and more. Step up and move forward today!
  1. Get educated. Knowledge is power. Once you understand how the disease works, then you can make smart decisions and take control of your diabetes management. You’ll also be able to give others clear information to offset the stereotypes commonly associated with type 2 diabetes.
  1. Build a team. Gather a team of supporters to help you manage this disease. Your team can include your spouse, kids, doctor, friends, a trainer at your gym, or others who will help you along the way.
  1. Replace bad habits. As part of your plan, determine what aspects of your lifestyle need to change to support your overall health. One by one, build those changes into your routine so they become healthy habits.
  1. Make a plan. With help from your doctor and your treatment team, you can make a plan that will get you to your goals. When you take control, you will see what an impact you can have on your type 2 diabetes.
  1. Stick to it. Find the inspiration to stay on track. Be empowered by your plan. Nothing is easy at first, but if you stick to your plan, you’ll start to see results.

To learn more about the “6 Rules to Get ON IT” and Dr. Phil’s experience managing his type 2 diabetes, visit OnItMovement.com. Whether it’s learning how to change everyday habits or getting ideas on how to build the right support team, the ON IT Movement has the tools that can help people with type 2 diabetes create a treatment plan and stick to it.

Confronting Type 2 Diabetes, a National Epidemic

The statistics are staggering: healthcare experts say that diabetes – the chronic disease that affects more than 29 million Americans today – has reached epidemic proportions. The cost of diabetes in 2012 in the United States was $245 billion in healthcare expenses, and authorities predict that if historic trends continue, there could be as many as one-in-three people living with diabetes by 2050.

While new treatment approaches have become available over the last decade, more work can be done to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with diabetes. How can the health system best manage the country’s growing diabetes epidemic? What should healthcare providers do to better educate their patients about the disease? And how can the health system work together to better coordinate their treatment?

These were the main discussion topics at a thought leader dinner during American Diabetes Month, hosted by AstraZeneca in partnership with the National Journal, and moderated by Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-at-Large, National Journal and The Atlantic.

20151116_NJ_AstraZeneca_Dinner_016Topher Brooke, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes, AstraZeneca, who was joined by Lori Tierney, Vice President, Commercial Operations, AstraZeneca, kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the unmet patient needs in managing type 2 diabetes, and focusing on early action in the treatment paradigm.

As a company committed to advancing the national dialogue around diabetes, members of AstraZeneca’s North America leadership team were joined by 14 thought leaders and members of the media from leading organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Business Journal and others.

The candid discussion focused on a variety of topics, including education, prevention and pre-diabetes, and lack of attention as a public health topic – highlighting the enormity and multi-faceted nature of this chronic disease. Attendees focused part of the importance of healthcare providers in the equation. With the growing number of people who have or will develop type 2 diabetes, it is more important now than ever before to have the appropriate number of endocrinologists, primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and diabetes educators to meet the needs of patients.

20151116_NJ_AstraZeneca_Dinner_173The dinner guests aligned on the need for greater education for healthcare providers and patients, and to create urgency around diabetes – stressing a potential “lightening rod” idea that could spark behavior change when it comes to lifestyle modifications and hopefully preventing people from developing diabetes.

Several of the guests highlighted the importance of taking local community-based initiatives that are having impact for people living with diabetes, and launching those in other parts of the country, to ultimately scale up those pilot programs to service a greater number of communities.

At the conclusion of the evening, there was a common agreement that despite the large task at hand to manage the growing diabetes epidemic, there is much that can be done when we combine efforts across key parties including health care providers, patients, public and private organizations, and the health system as a whole to achieve better health outcomes.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

AstraZeneca ‘Links Up’ Diabetes Online Community for Influencer Event

With social media playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, online analytics show that Twitter conversations around diabetes have continuously grown over recent years. People with diabetes have built one of the most active and robust online communities of any patient group – so much, in fact, that they’re widely known online as the #DOC (Diabetes Online Community). AstraZeneca recently hosted 11 of these influencers in Gaithersburg, Maryland for our first ever Diabetes Linkup event.

The #DiabetesLinkup provided a forum for open dialogue around unmet needs in diabetes and how together, through strength in numbers, we can bridge those gaps for the more than 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes. All agreed that the DOC plays a critical role for people living with diabetes. “The DOC can cure a lot of loneliness and gives people a little extra something to help them turn the corner with their diabetes. We have, and will continue to have, the opportunity to help people learn more about their diabetes,” said Diabetes Linkup participant, Anna Norton, of DiabetesSisters.

The event was kicked off with a presentation from Sally Okun, Vice President of Advocacy, Policy & Patient Safety at PatientsLikeMe, with whom AstraZeneca has a five-year research collaboration to use patient-reported data to shape future medicine development and help improve patient outcomes.  Sally discussed the work the organization is doing to improve the lives of patients through new knowledge derived from shared real-world experiences and outcomes aggregated in the online community, specifically around diabetes.

FullSizeRenderParticipants had an opportunity to hear from John Yee, M.D., Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs, U.S. Diabetes on AstraZeneca’s work in diabetes, as well as the chance to tour MedImmune research labs, including the cardiovascular and metabolic lab, to learn more about the scientific research underway at AstraZeneca. Science is at the core of all we do at AstraZeneca and informs the advancement of the approach to diabetes. “You need to leverage the science – it can play a major role in shifting the mindset, particularly that type 2 diabetes is not just about being overweight,” said Kate Cornell who blogs at Kate’s Sweet Success and The Type 2 Experience. “If the message can be shifted away from ‘lose some weight,’ more people are going to listen.”

IMG_2074An interactive lunch featured a selection of recipes from AstraZeneca’s Fit2Me tool, a free type 2 diabetes lifestyle support program focused on four key areas of diabetes care—food, activity, treatment information, and support. The group also sampled two flavorful vegetable dishes made onsite by Sam Talbot, a Top Chef season 2 semi-finalist who has type 1 diabetes and is a founder of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization which seeks to bring a new level of respect, understanding and support for those living with type 1 diabetes. Sam shared his philosophy of diabetes management – no foods are completely forbidden, but he focuses on moderation and uses fresh, sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

While the event offered a range of activities and guest speakers, the most meaningful component was the opportunity for live discussion on important topics ranging from how the DOC can provide peer support to the current challenges facing those living with diabetes. AstraZeneca thanks everyone for their participation in the inaugural Diabetes Linkup and looks forward to future opportunities to engage with this impactful group of individuals.

Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes with AZ Patient Support Programs

Eat right. Exercise regularly. Sleep well. Take your medications. Managing type 2 diabetes can be challenging, if not sometimes overwhelming. With more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes, AstraZeneca has developed a number of resources that help people living with diabetes navigate their own personal journey with the condition while establishing healthy habits.


Our newest program, Fit2Me™, offers free type 2 diabetes diet and lifestyle support covering four key areas of diabetes care: food, activity, treatment information and support. Fit2Me allows patients to pick their favorite ingredients, cuisines and fitness activities to build a customized lifestyle plan based on their individual preferences. Love pasta? Fit2Me has 601 diabetes-friendly pasta dishes. Craving dessert? Fit2Me has 902 healthy dessert options. Trying to implement a new cardio routine? Fit2Me has 144 cardio exercises to try out. Fit2Me also provides a personalized digital health coach to help guide each patient’s journey and track their progress.


Fit2Me includes interactive games, team challenges and rewards to encourage individuals to reach their personal goals. But Fit2Me is more than just fun and games – it also includes access to diabetes health resources like type 2 diabetes-trained nurses, certified diabetes educators and assistance verifying insurance coverage.


AstraZeneca also offers SteadySTART™, a diabetes education program that focuses on helping adults with type 2 diabetes by offering them access to Clinical Educators, who  provide participants education focused on healthy eating and being active, as well as treatment support. SteadySTART has both full-time and on-demand Clinical Educators available to help in face-to-face meetings or over the phone. For those patients who prefer group support, the program offers educational sessions, where educators provide resources and lead discussions and activities.

Clinical Educators help patients get started with their treatment and continue to check in throughout the process to ensure patients are on the right track to reach their goals. With check-ins at day 7, day 30, day 60 and day 90, Clinical Educators offer support and encouragement, answer questions, keep patients on track and help them plan for future success.

AZ&ME Prescription Savings Program

AstraZeneca supports patient access to treatments, including diabetes medications, through the AZ&ME Prescription Savings Programs, which is designed to help provide AstraZeneca medications to qualifying people without insurance, those in Medicare Part D and those who receive their medications through participating healthcare facilities.

Patients without insurance or with Medicare Part D can sign up for the program at no cost and remain enrolled for one calendar year, when they can reapply for the following calendar year. Medicines are mailed to the patient’s home or physician’s office at no cost and the patient, physician or caregiver can request refills.

The AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities is designed to help provide AstraZeneca medicines to low-income patients through qualifying facilities such as disproportionate share hospitals, community health centers, community free clinics, central fill pharmacies and charitable pharmacies. Facilities enrolled in the program can dispense AstraZeneca medicines at no cost or for a nominal, facility-assessed dispensing fee from their outpatient pharmacy or dispensary to qualified patients.

AstraZeneca values the importance of resources, support and information needed for a more positive health care experience, and continuously looks for ways to support patients who want to better manage their type 2 diabetes.

Fit2Me Diabetes Support Program Helps Patients Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a complex, multi-faceted disease and requires an ongoing commitment to the long-term health of those living with it. Recognizing that each person with type 2 diabetes is unique, AstraZeneca recently launched Fit2Me™, a free diet and lifestyle support program that allows people with this complex disease to create a diabetes care plan that is custom fit to their likes and dislikes.

FFit2Me_Pos_H_2C_RGBit2Me focuses on four key areas of diabetes management – food, activity, support and treatment information. Until now, patients have been limited to one-size-fits-all programs, but Fit2Me is different – it customizes the support program to the individual patient. With more than 10,000 diabetes-friendly recipes and 500 exercises, Fit2Me allows users to create meal and exercise plans based on their preferences, as well as make tradeoffs in weekly meal and exercise plans in order to meet their goals.

Fit2Me is the only diabetes support program to offer the guidance and encouragement of “digital coaches” who help users through the process and celebrating successes along the way. The program also offers users chances to win rewards by competing in challenges with other users. Fit2Me provides treatment and appointment reminders, as well as A1C and blood sugar trackers.

“Unlike diet, exercise and diabetes trackers that record past activity, Fit2Me focuses on the future,” said Susan LaRue, Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator, Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca US Diabetes. “This tool helps people with type 2 diabetes plan their meals and activities, based on their preferences, instead of just tracking calories consumed and burned. Our goal is for this program is to address the unmet needs of the type 2 diabetes community.”

By rewarding users for building a customized diabetes care plan and checking back regularly, Fit2Me encourages people with type 2 diabetes to take their health into their own hands. Get started at Fit2Me and enter the unique promo code NEWS. As with any lifestyle program, it is important to remember to consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise or nutrition program.

Fit2Me Contest Rules NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Sweepstakes ends 8/31/15 and is subject to Entry Periods as outlined in the full Official Rules available at http://www.fit2mecoach.com/#/sweepstakes-terms. Open only to legal US residents in the 50 US States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void outside the 50 US States, the District of Columbia, and where restricted or prohibited by law.

Diabetes Alert Day: Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

alert-day-2014-banner-300x250Today is the 26th annual American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day, an opportunity to help raise awareness around type 2 diabetes and encourage people to take this quick ADA test to determine if they are at risk.  As part of this initiative, the ADA also invites people to engage in an active lifestyle, including participating in one or more of the many Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes® events taking place in cities nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S., with type 2 diabetes accounting for approximately 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases. Many people with diabetes are unaware of their condition; according to the CDC, 7 million Americans who are living with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently.  Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in younger people as well.  Learn if you are at risk by visiting the ADA on Facebook, diabetes.org/risktest or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).