**Shaheen: I applaud the FDA for their decision to approve this life-changing device, which will give type 1 diabetes patients more independence and stability in their day-to-day lives**
(Washington D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision today to approve an artificial pancreas (AP) system to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The approval of the new Medtronic MiniMed 670G system, the first device ever approved to automate the dosing of insulin to reduce high blood sugar levels, is a life-changing breakthrough for the T1D community, and Shaheen has long played a leading role in ensuring that FDA make AP technologies a priority. Shaheen supported last year’s reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds T1D research, and led the charge in Congress earlier this year to secure widespread bipartisan support for the SDP.
“Diabetes severely impacts the quality of life for millions of Americans and the approval for widespread use of an automated insulin device will improve the quality of life for people with T1D,” said Senator Shaheen. “I applaud the FDA for their decision to approve this life-changing device, which will give T1D patients more independence and stability in their day-to-day lives. While this is a huge step forward, there is still work to be done to continue improving the health and management of this disease. I’ll continue to fight for Americans living with diabetes until we find a cure.”
“We are grateful to Senator Shaheen and all our allies in Congress for their support in making this milestone achievement possible,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., Chief Mission Officer of JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research. “This is a fantastic step forward, but we are not done. Next-generation technologies are in the pipeline that could also provide better outcomes and less burden for people with T1D. JDRF and our partners in Congress, the National Institutes of Health and Helmsley Charitable Trust must continue to fund research and advocate for broad access to this and other artificial pancreas technologies.”
To date, NIH has allocated more than $130 million in funds from the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) to fund AP research. Continued SDP support will enable the development of next generation AP systems, as well as other research that could lead to a cure or prevention of T1D and its complications. Without renewal of SDP in 2017, the progress that these initiatives are making will slow or stall.