I would have a long term study on insulin injected without any preservative excipients to see if it made any difference to the cancer numbers in diabetics.
I know a scientist in Sweden who has developed a filter syringe which can remove preservative (ie all those poisonous phenols we are forced to take in every day, all day, for our whole rest of our lives, the same chemicals banned in labs because they are so poisonous) as the insulin is being injected.
This was research financed by a pharmaceutical company for growth hormone as a child given growth hormone had reacted badly to the phenol. This scientist developed this filter – but then growth hormone can be dried and reconstituted just before injection rather like Glucagon, so they did this instead. So he is left with this perfectly wonderful filter which works with any insulin and will protect us from phenols, which could be part of the reason diabetics get more cancer. But pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested in this filter – no demand!
I’d want to spend more money and time on persuading/lobbying/beating about the head and body with a large pointy stick those people who make the decisions as to what therapy they will give people, such that they start to all sing from the same songsheet and give the best therapy for the individual, be that MDI/pump/CGM/whatever rather than the cheapest option for the PCT…
In general terms, I would reorganise it so that Diabetes UK was an umbrella brand for two sub-brands – one for type one and one for type two. This wouldn’t split the organisation, just how it was branded. Therefore they could act with their type one hat on, or type two hat on, or both lumped together – whichever would be most appropriate. People – outside and inside the organisation – could specialise in either sub-brand. So while I might raise cash for the type one brand, the cash would all actually go into the same general pot. Equally other people might feel more excited about raising money specifically for type two issues.
This would keep T1s and T2s happy but I would equally make them miserable by spending a fortune on branding, PR and advertising by using a massive, but brilliant, top London firm. This sort of stuff is vital.
I would open up how research is seen – like Cancer Research has done – so you can earmark your raised cash for a particular project. I think with CRUK you can specify that your money goes to a specific project on prostate cancer or whatever. My DUK would do the same. This might help to reduce the amount of money going to esoteric studies into the effects of high blood glucose on patient’s big toes and other academically interesting but practically useless research. Money would go only into research that helps diabetics in practical terms.
I would also have a moratorium on any research for a ‘cure’ for the time being.
I would find & recruit top lobbyists – ex senior civil servants, etc. – and pay them well to lobby MPs / MSPs, etc., on diabetic issues.
I would also arrange for the Digital Communities Manager to have a massive pay rise and be given a fancy Porsche to drive around in. I’m only saying this as I know he’s reading this…