Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for the artificial pancreas, which will transform the way we treat diabetes in our country. Millions of Americans have diabetes. Diabetes accounts for approximately $174 billion in health care costs in the U.S. each year, 32 percent of our Medicare expenditures.
Studies show that tight control of blood glucose levels significantly reduces or delays the development of diabetic complications. Most patients with diabetes cannot achieve tight glucose control with traditional diabetes tools. Erratic blood glucose levels can cause devastating complications, including kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack, and stroke.
The artificial pancreas can allow individuals suffering from diabetes to regulate their blood glucose levels using an insulin pump and a sensor. The system can prevent low and high glucose levels and help individuals with diabetes avoid the worst and most costly complications while allowing them to remain healthy until a cure is found.
In April of this year, 250 Members of the House, myself included, and 60 Senators sent a letter to the FDA urging them to approve the artificial pancreas. I am encouraged by FDA's response to have a decision by December.