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Supporters Say Diabetes Registry Could Lead To Treatment Advancements - 2017/11/02Back to Articles List - All Articles

A bill to establish the Ohio Diabetes Registry could lead to reduced treatment costs or even a cure, Ohioans affected by the disease told a House panel on Wednesday.

Diabetes diagnoses are increasing and the overall prevalence of the disease in Ohio, at 11.7%, is higher than the nation's 9.7%, according to the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, which is backing the bill (HB 241).

Cassandra Freeland told the House Health Committee that she doesn't know why her son and a handful of others in her community were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in recent years. She said she hopes the registry can be used to determine why.

"Given that diabetes is on the rise, I believe it makes sense to track and study it so that we can better understand the causes," she said.

Likewise, Lynnda Davis said it became obvious to her that not enough is known about disease when her daughter was misdiagnosed with another illness and almost died from diabetes complications.

"Diabetes symptoms are not always obvious. There is still a lot to be learned," she said. "Patients, hospitals, doctors and families will all benefit, long term, by having information and details associated with a large cohort of cases - the information that an Ohio Diabetes Registry would provide."

"I believe the Ohio Registry information could assist in finding and communicating a cure for diabetes someday," she added.

Tommy Ritz is among those studying diabetes to better serve patients like himself, his brother and his father who all have the disease. He said he had trouble finding basic information about the nation's diabetes sufferers when starting his businesses, Keto Block and Ritz Brother's Inc., which aim to ease issues related to the disease.

Not only did numbers of diabetics vary from organization to organization, there was no source of demographic or health data available for declared diabetics to base his research and products on, he said.

"There are others like me, who want to innovate in the field of diabetic management. Not having the information necessary to create the products and services needed by so many of our fellow Ohioans and Americans will prevent some of these individuals and organizations from doing so," Mr. Ritz said.

"I believe House Bill 241 is the first step in obtaining accurate information about this epidemic, and will help those, like myself, who seek to ease the suffering of diabetics through simplicity and innovation. I believe this information will augment the access to resources desperately needed by the diabetic community."

Advancements in treatment or the reduction in the number of diabetes diagnoses could have significant financial impacts on the state and those with the disease, Ms. Freeland said.

Diabetes medicine and testing items can cost as much as $1,000 each month, even with insurance, she said.

"Identifying and preventing new cases of diabetes not only has the potential to save people the lifelong burden of managing a chronic disease, it also has the potential to save our health care system money," Ms. Freeland said.

A fiscal analysis of the bill released this week states that the costs of the proposed registry to track Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes would be "significant" for the Department of Health. The agency would have to establish and maintain the registry as well as train health care providers on proper use. (Fiscal Note)

The Ohio Hospital Association has determined that costs to hospitals would likely be minimal, according to the analysis.

Although the anticipated costs could be high, Ms. Freeland told lawmakers the cost of treating diabetes and the impacts it has on families is greater.

"I would argue you can't afford to ignore it with the increases (in diabetes) in adults and children," she said.

Last update: 2017/11/02