Board member David Warren recently participated in the NC Department of Health & Human Services Division of Medical Assistance Preferred Drug List Review Panel Meeting in Raleigh. David, a self-proclaimed person with type 3 diabetes, spoke on the subject of non-medical switching. Non-medical switching, when a patient's medication is switched by someone other than a medical professional and for reasons other than the patient's health, has become a big topic among the diabetes community. David, whose remarks are below, spoke on behalf of his wife, Keena, who has been living with diabetes for over 40 years. He also represented the 10 million women living with diabetes in the United States, and the 1 million living in North Carolina alone. If you'd like to learn more about non-medical switching, you can download our guide here.
Andrea Thomas, board member living in the Greater Washington, DC, area, has been the leading force in our community efforts to engage more women living in underserved populations with type 2 diabetes. Last month, along with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, she coordinated a gathering focused on diabetes and heart health. Over 25 women attended and heard from Pamela Price-Parker, a patient advocate. Pamela spoke passionately on the theme Let’s have a Heart to Heart: Critical Conversations about Diabetes and Heart Health. She shared her story of living with diabetes and suffering a heart attack.
During her presentation, Pamela shared eye-opening statistics about Black women’s health. She educated the attendees about the common warning signs of a heart attack and how to reduce heart attack risks. Pamela closed the session by reminding the group that it is a daily effort to maintain their numbers and good health, and some days are better than others. She encouraged everyone to begin a new day to take care of themselves and enjoy their best lives right now.
Let’s have a Heart to Heart: Critical Conversations about Diabetes and Heart Health event.
DiabetesSisters wishes to acknowledge and thank the Board of Directors for their contributions to the growth of our programs and services, as well as their tireless efforts to improve the lives of women living with diabetes.
Comments to the NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Medical Assistance
Preferred Drug List Review Panel Meeting
September 21, 2017
My name is David Warren. In my professional life, I am a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. I also serve as a board member of DiabetesSisters. In my personal life, I am a type 3 diabetic. Unlike a Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetic, a type 3 does not have the horrible disease but lives with, or cares for, someone who is actually a diabetic.
My wife, Keena, has lived with diabetes for over 43 years, having been diagnosed at age 18 months. Over those four decades, she has changed insulin medications several times until she finds one that can keep her healthy and prevent her from succumbing to diabetic shock. The change in prescriptions is a result of aging, resistance, body chemistry change and other non-economic reasons.
It is through Keena that I became involved in DiabetesSisters, a North Carolina non-profit organization, that offers support, education and advocacy for the nearly 10 million women living with diabetes in the United States, including almost 1 million here in North Carolina. Today, I am advocating for allowing patients and their doctors to decide what treatment plan works best for the patient. If several insulin alternatives were not available over the years, I dare say that Keena would not be with us today.
As good as they are at their jobs, administrators, health insurance professionals and pharmacy benefit managers do not know which medicine will work best for a particular patient. Only the patient and the health care provider can make that determination. Narrowing the treatment alternatives based on a political lobby or popularity would, more likely than not, cause health decline or even death.
DiabetesSisters represents ALL women with diabetes. This national women’s group includes all races and socio-economic backgrounds. Keena and I are fortunate. We have good health insurance. We are also fortunate enough to get Keena the insulin she needs if that medicine were not covered under our insurance. Other DiabetesSisters do not have that ability. It is for them that I implore you to allow an expanded preferred drug list for those 10 million women nationally who need diabetes medications each day.
Thank you for your public service.