COFFS Harbour diabetes patients involved in clinical trials of new medications are helping the rest of the world to manage the long-term disease.
Endocrinologist and diabetes specialist, Dr Sultan Linjawi has in recent years involved his patients in a number of studies that have been published in leading international medical journals.
Dr Sultan is now seeking patients to become involved in a series of new trials over the next six months.
"Diabetes patients in Coffs Harbour, people in this town, have really provided answers as to how to better manage diabetes worldwide," Dr Sultan said.
"The latest trial involves a new medication that has just become available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and is one of the first trials looking at this drug in combination with two other drugs that are commonly used already.
Dr Sultan said he is looking for patients currently taking a combination of the pills called janumet or januvia and metformin (diabex).
"The latest trial is going to answer another question on how we need to proceed in terms of managing people on particular medications when they are not do not have good enough control of their blood sugar," he said.
"One of the benefits of being in a trial to the patients is that they are under close observation and have regular blood tests to make sure everything is going to plan."
Under a growing obesity epidemic, Dr Sultan said statistics indicate 65% to 70% of people are overweight or obese.
"In Coffs Harbour eight to 10% of the population has diabetes so if the population is 80,000 people we are probably talking to 8,000 people, which is just massive" he said.
"We also think that about a third of people with the disease don't know they have diabetes.
"The numbers are definitely going up, but what's frightening is the number of people with borderline diabetes.
"About one in four people have so called pre diabetes and of these half progress to diabetes in the next five to 10 years."
The Coffs Harbour Diabetes Centre can be contacted on 66514459