We are reposting a timely article from The Conversation about why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice. While data provides facts, stories give them a more human context. Here's a little background to go with the story.
This week marks the 37th anniversary of the approval of human insulin – the first biotech drug ever. Almost as revolutionary as the drug was its five-month approval by the FDA, which was two years less than average. Dr. Henry Miller celebrates the dawn of biotechnology. He should know. At that time he was in charge of the FDA team that reviewed it.
The price of insulin continues to rise. But before jumping on du jour soundbites, knowing its history may help explain why our first wonder drug is now a chimeric poster child for the best and worse in the pharmaceutical industry.
We all understand the impact of a gaping wound, or the wasted appearance of a body overrun by cancer. But often there are more silent and invisible conditions that not only invoke a physical furor, but emotional and psychological pain as well. Type 1 Diabetes is such a malady. Thankfully, major advances are ongoing.
Last Monday marked the first debate of of three Clinton-Trump debates. Though no fits of any kind -- coughing or otherwise -- were thrown, the two presidential candidates did throw many jabs, as expected. But when Trump said her Democratic rival "doesn't have the stamina," it eventually led us to this question: Who does have the stamina?
Insulin-requiring diabetics may be able to toss their syringes in the not-too-distant future, if a new type of insulin-containing pill can conquer research hurdles. Packaging the hormone in a new type of lipid vesicle could protect it from breakdown by stomach acid and eliminate the need for frequent injections.
Having Type 1 diabetes means a person's insulin-producing beta cells don't work normally. New research brings us closer to the day that new, functional beta cells can be produced in the lab and given to diabetics to normalize their metabolism.
The human body's immune system is similar to having millions, if not billions, of snipers at the ready aiming and poised to shoot any foreign invader. This is why transplanted tissues and organs are so vulnerable to rejection. But a recent discovery by MIT researchers hopes to make them more viable.
What if a diabetes sufferer, who needs insulin to manage the condition, loses their insurance or can't afford the co-pays. It is possible to buy the drug instead, without a prescription and over the counter, much as one might buy ibuprofen or aspirin? It is, but is this a good idea? It's not clear cut either way.
The holy grail of diabetes research has long been finding a way to administer insulin by mouth. And that goal may have been reached by scientists at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who have developed a capsule that resists the acidic environment of the stomach.
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, affects approximately 1.25 million American children and (much less commonly) adults. Unlike the much more common type 2 diabetes, which is largely related to lifestyle, type 1 an autoimmune disease