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Founder of Diabetes Mine discusses the power of patient communities

Over on the Medicine X blog, Julia James has written a great profile of Amy Tenderich, a member of the Medicine X advisory board and founder of the blog Diabetes Mine. James writes:

A few months after Novo Nordisk gained FDA approval for its type-2 diabetes drug, Victoza, in January of 2010, Amy Tenderich sat down to write a review of the product on her blog, She quickly covered the drug's vital stats--Victoza is an injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 designed to stimulate insulin secretion when high blood sugar is present--and then moved on to address the questions she knew would concern potential users: What type of patient would it benefit? How did it stack up against its competitor, Byetta? What were its side effects? What were its potential risks? What would happen when users combined Victoza with their usual oral anti-diabetes drugs?

To answer these questions, Tenderich referred to expert sources and also sought input from her physical and online communities--she talked to her own endocrinologist as well as a web contact named Raymond, living with the disease in England. Soon, though, what had been a simple blog post turned into something else altogether: one by one, site visitors shared their own questions and experiences, and by October 21 of this year, they had posted 990 comments--making the page into the default user forum for the drug.

Tenderich is one of the most prominent ePatients on the web, so the rest of the profile is well worth reading.

And, if you haven't done so already, be sure to save the date for Medicine X: The first-ever conference will take place on Sept. 28-30, 2012.

Previously: ePatient discusses how web-savvy patients are changing the practice of medicine and Stanford Medicine X advisory board announced

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