It’s Black Friday. And I need your help.

Did I say I need your help? In fact, we need your help.

For the next week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a docket open, waiting for public comment from you and me and anyone else living with or affected by diabetes. What makes this docket unique is that they are actually asking us to weigh in on how we want to be included in the review of diabetes devices and drugs. Can you believe it?

From the FDA’s official docket:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the establishment of a public docket for comments on FDA activities performed under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Patient Participation in Medical Product Discussions. This notice announces FDA’s intent to gather input from stakeholders on strategies to obtain the views of patients during the medical product development process and ways to consider patients’ perspectives during regulatory discussions.

The thing is, we only have until next Thursday, December 4th, to respond. After that, our opportunity is gone. Can you help? Will you please be an advocate and comment? It’s very easy to do, and so, so helpful.

Here’s the link to the public docket

Here’s the link to leave a comment on this docket

Needless to say, it’s absolutely necessary to let the FDA know how important the patient perspective is in the review of things we use to manage our diabetes and stay alive every day. How can you do that?

Tell your story! Personal stories are more important than statistics. Just speak from the heart and tell them what’s important to you, and why. In addition to your personal story, you might want to include these ideas too (feel free to cut and paste):

Thank you. Thanks for the FDA’s openness with the Diabetes Community in 2014. FDA opened a number of dockets for people with diabetes to comment. The docket on glucose meters and MDDS provided specific opportunities for diabetes patients to share our views on accurate glucose measurement, and how great it would be to share that information with our support systems.

– FDA engaged in two significant and well received webinars that the community referred to as #DOCasksFDA. These were unprecedented opportunities for patients to hear from FDA and use social media to talk among themselves about specific issues. These webinars were a significant opening and I feel there is an ongoing need to continue the dialog.

– FDA came out and participated at a number of events including the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit, MasterLab at Friends For Life, Keystone, ADA Scientific Sessions, AACE, DTS, and other events. These help consumers as well as physicians and researchers better interact with the agency.

– 2014 saw the creation of patient driven diabetes solutions under #WeAreNotWaiting initiatives. Notably, the NightScout CGM in the Cloud project. FDA is to be commended for their openness to talking with representatives of this ad hoc effort.

– The efforts of FDA’s consumer representative, Rebecca Killion, is an excellent example of the value a patient can bring to the regulation process. As a member of ADCOM panels, she is a champion of patient views.

– I hope that the dialogue between FDA and people with diabetes continues to grow in both content and diversity in 2015 and beyond. I hope that the #DOCasksFDA process leads to a unique and meaningful PDUFA meeting on diabetes.

Finally, I believe that

  • The patient perspective is unique, and should be included whenever the FDA reviews drugs and devices.  This is the most important part of interaction.  No one can understand diabetes the way those who live with it do.
  • Including the patient viewpoint can reduce the time spent gathering information for both reviewers and submitters.  It can help provide a fresh set of eyes on impactful changes to devices and drugs.
  • Having a patient as part of the process focuses concerns and speeds approval of meaningful improvements.  We’re able to ask questions and provide real-world experience of why something works for the patient, and why it doesn’t.
  • Under MDUFA III, the Patient Preference Initiative is critical to give FDA a meaningful look into how people with diabetes consider the benefit/risk paradigm regarding new devices under review.
  • The idea of a person with diabetes, or a parent of a child with diabetes serving as a Special Government Employee, such as Ms. Killion, is extremely beneficial.

I know I’m asking a lot, asking you to help with this right now. Think of it as a way to get one more ounce of advocacy in before Diabetes Awareness Month is over. And we need your advoacy. The best part is, you don’t have to even leave your home. If you’re reading this right now, you can make a difference right now. Let’s not only not lose this opportunity… Let’s make the most of this opportunity before it’s gone.

On behalf of myself and all People With Diabetes, Thank You.

Special thanks to Bennet Dunlap, Christel Marchand Aprigliano, and the rest of the Strip Safely team for their help with this effort.

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