Friday, September 18, 2009

A New Diabetes Study? Why Not?

In recent years, the medical profession seem to view themselves as writers (or comedians/comediennes) by giving their medical research studies cute names that fit conveniently into an acronym. Consider some recent examples, such as the ACCORD study, which was conveniently named for the acronym of "Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes", a type 2 diabetes study that didn't quite pan out as well as the researchers were hoping. But all of these cutesy names for studies have gotten so out of hand lately it's almost sickening.

At present Macrogenics and Eli Lilly & Co. have a study with a on the CD3 antibody treatment teplizumab that they're calling Protégé.

What is that supposed to stand for?

Officially, it means "Preserving the Capability to Produce Insulin, Reducing Insulin Usage and Improving Blood Sugar Levels in Children and Adults With Recent-Onset Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus". Sure, that's a mouthful, but I find it incredibly annoying and frankly kind of stupid that medical researchers are coming up with the trial names and later fitting words into the trial, rather than naming the trials, then seeing if an acronym applies. This is idiotic, and it belittles the intent to these studies for the sake of a press release.

The latest example was in the press today for a study called, if you can imagine, "BLOSSOM" for weight-loss drug called lorcaserin made by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. The BLOSSOM study reported some success in a large late-stage study, but apparently the strength of the results of that study disappointed Wall Street relative to other weight-loss drugs being developed.

For this reason, I'm seriously considering sponsoring my own study with an acronym called "ASSHOLE", which will stand for:

Study of

Not only is the research topic valid, but wouldn't that study acronym make for a great press release?!


Jaimie said...

yes! it would make an awesome press release!

Bennet said...



Anonymous said...


Thanks for a great post! Unfortunately, an ASSHOLE study makes too MUCH sense, and might--as some long-time diabetics contend--reveal that the emperor's clothes are, indeed, invisible. How could the insulin cartel explain decades of mis-treatment/abuse and/or outright lying to their consumers if such a study revealed that "latest and greatest" really only translates to "latest and most profitable"?

This is exactly the sort of study that should have been done BEFORE APPROVAL of rDNA insulins and the accompanying paradigm shift that mandated tight control, "test and test often" and a host of other control mechanisms that have led not to better outcomes, only to more "treatment."

A broken FDA, a dysfunctional adverse events reporting system, a greedy insuin cartel, and a patient population that has been indoctrinated to equate 'good numbers' with good outcomes--all came together to give us the perfect storm that has become the accepted norm for good management.