Saturday, January 28, 2006

Medicine: inhaling your insulin

Hank McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer:

"Having grown tired of making new pills and shots, Pfizer has decided to place its research dollars into things that kids on the campus of the University of Michigan can stick in their noses, where the real street cash is, and where the government will leave us alone. Some guys were screwing around in the lab one night, and they accidentally grabbed the 'insulin' bottle instead of the 'groovy new hallucinogenic concoction-o-fun' bottle, and, well, here I am! Those silly chemists."

12 comments:

J Hearne said...

Inhaling Insulin kinda creeps me out a little bit.

Garrett said...

you inhaling anything creeps me out :0)

you're also a pro at sticking needles into yourself by now. but i'm sure this will be a fun trick at parties, "hey everybody, watch my glucose drop! *snort*"

Pepper said...

Garrett - How bad are the parties that you're going to?

Garrett said...

pepper, do you think anybody actually invites me to their parties? besides zuck, who has to schedule a party on a night that courtney got us tix for a concert for her b-day...

J Hearne said...

I've heard it's only for Type-2s. Any med student want to clue me in on this one?

Pepper said...

It's actually useful for both type 2's and type 1's. However, type 1's would still need to take injectable insulin. Inhaled insulin is rapid-acting. Type 1 diabetics (aka people with "Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus") require exogenous insulin in their bodies at all times, including when sleeping. This means that not all of their insulin can be rapid-acting and they will continue to need the longer-acting injectable forms before bed.

J Hearne said...

Ahh, I understand the whole "fast-acting" like Humalog or Novolog and "long-acting" like Humulin or Ultra-Lente. My immediate concern, however, was that I had read it was, for some reason, only useful for Type-2s. If it's a viable fast-acting insulin then it seems totally possible to use this in conjunction with a longer lasting insulin for basal control. However, those of us on Insulin Pumps don't see much point, I guess. I'd like to see steps taken towards a combination of glucose monitoring and pump technology. If a pancreas is going to refuse to be a part of the team, I say we replace it with an artificial one.

Garrett said...

nobody addresses the real problem though, in that insulin pumps are not compatible with nintendo ds games.

Anonymous said...

I dunno - the endo docs I've talked to won't touch the stuff. There's word in the air that this could lead to lung malignancy, and once several people on it inevitably get cancer (even if this is coincidental), it will be removed from the market. Of course, this is all just "expert opinion", and nowhere near RCT quality...

Plus, this stuff is way expen$ive.

Anonymous said...

As far as a combination insulin pump and glucometer, this seems pretty hard to pull of at first glance. The needle/catheter from the pump sits in the subcutaneous tissue. In order to monitor glucose, you need to go endovascular... i.e. an IV line, etc.

Although never discount the possibility of future technologies - such as an implantable, endovascular device that measures glucose in real-time (or not, if you want to conserve battery power) and sends it wirelessly to the insulin pump, which then continuously alters the rate of insulin.

J Hearne said...

An excellent point, Garrett. Why can't I mod my pump to play Halo? WHY?!

Seriously, though, people have asked me if it's a gaming console before. I guess they don't notice the thin tube running from it to my stomach. I most often get: "is that a cell phone?" My usual response is, "Yes, it's powered by my kidneys through this tube..." or "Yes, I use it to talk to my no good slacker of a Pancreas."

instructor.iddings said...

Garrett Sparks. This is your old pal, Josh Iddings. Just happened to stumble upon the Michigan website while looking for a Ph.D. program to join (though I'm not having much luck in my field). I took a chance that you would be in the directory and found you. I called the cell phone number given in the directory but haven't gotten an answer. I left you my number. If you don't actually use that cell phone or whatever, let me know. My home phone is 7406467358. Call me brother.