Artificial Pancreas Research

Floor Speech

By:  Elton Gallegly
Date: July 6, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my strong support for additional research and testing of a new technology that would enable persons with diabetes to better control their blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes is a dangerous and debilitating disease. Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes. People with diabetes often suffer heart attacks, seizures, comas, and blindness.

An artificial pancreas is a device that may help people with type 1 diabetes better and automatically control blood glucose level. It combines a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump with sophisticated software to provide the right amount of insulin at the right time. A recent study estimates that this technology will result in nearly $2 billion in savings to Medicare over 25 years.

Several inpatient studies have demonstrated that the use of an artificial pancreas may reduce dangerous fluctuations of blood sugars. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing a proposed guidance developed by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that would allow outpatient testing of the artificial pancreas.

It is my hope that the FDA will make the review of this proposed guidance one of its highest priorities, and that outpatient testing of the artificial pancreas will be allowed to begin as soon as possible.