The Handoff is a weekly roundup of endocrinology and general medicine news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

  • An FDA review has found that pioglitazone use may be linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes. The thiazolidinedione is found in a number of medications, including Actos® (Takeda), Actoplus Met® (Takeda), and Duetact® (Takeda). 

  • Earlier this week, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, a widely supported bipartisan effort aimed at increasing funding for medical research and accelerating the development and approval of experimental treatments. 


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  • Seema Verma, a health care consultant with SVC, Inc., has been chosen to lead the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

  • Practiced for centuries, hypnotherapy has gained new mainstream popularity—but can it prevent holiday weight gain? The New York Times digs deeper. 

  • A study published in JAMA identified various trends in causes of death across the United States. Researchers hope that these data will provide a mechanism for health care changes across the country.

  • The American Diabetes Association penned a letter to congressional leaders pointing out the ways in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased access to “adequate and affordable” health insurance for patients with diabetes. The group is opposed to repealing the ACA without a well-developed replacement in place. 

  • A new trend in diabetes? Research estimates that as many as 40% of women in the UK with type 1 diabetes are withholding insulin injections in order to lose weight. 

  • An upcoming Endocrinology Advisor feature will examine the benefits of affordable insulin and insulin access, following the Eli Lilly’s announcement that the company will offer discounted insulin products.

  • Andrew Stewart, MD, director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute and professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, discusses recent advances in beta cell replication for the treatment of diabetes in the video below.

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