Insulin Toothpaste (and more) Rejected: Coincidence or Conspiracy?

Yeah, insulin toothpaste! That caught my eye, too. I read a story a while back about a company called GenoMed, developing an insulin-laced toothpaste (!):Toothpaste_1

The company is perfecting specially formulated toothpastes that deliver drugs, like insulin, to patients while they’re brushing their teeth. Because insulin can’t survive stomach acid, it must be injected rather than ingested… Flossing, which often causes some bleeding of the gums, could help to speed the drug’s delivery to the bloodstream. The insulin toothpaste would be prescribed in a variety of strengths.

Soooo, I wrote to the company’s CEO to find out what the current status was! He wrote back to say that GenoMed is still working hard in its labs to perfect this medicine, and is actively applying for a number of patents, but is, on the whole, DISAPPPOOIINTED.

So far, not one of the toothpaste companies was willing to bite (my bad pun), and what’s worse, GenoMed believes it has developed a treatment that can successfully prevent diabetic kidney failure, but has been actively snubbed by the medical community.

“The method has been available since 2002 for a modest price ($75/month, or $800/yr paid as a lump sum). Interestingly enough, we’ve gotten zero press coverage despite issuing a lot of press releases when our five papers were published in 2002-2004,” the head of GenoMed writes.

“Reporters, even medical reporters, required endorsement by the professional renal community. None of the nephrologists or non-profit kidney organizations I asked wanted to publicize our treatment. I suppose it’s not that surprising. If somebody came along who could eliminate 90-95% of your industry, which you were making $400K a year from, you wouldn’t be that quick to help them do it… Nor did Medicare want to save 90% of its $25 billion budget for end-stage renal disease, which was also interesting.”

Well now, I’m not in a position to judge whether GenoMed’s treatment is viable or not, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk from a fledgling company working to introduce innovative medicines.

I’ve been meaning for a while to post about the whole Diabetes Conspiracy Theory: Do the organizations that make their living off this disease really want a cure? Lots of folks think not.

As always, I try to think positive. Wouldn’t the group that discovered the cure become rich beyond it’s wildest dreams — not to mention going down in history for medical genius? Ah, and wouldn’t the same apply to Crest or Colgate or Tom’s of Maine if they were the first to back the development of ingenious insulin toothpaste?! Come on, guys, GenoMed’s still looking for the right partner.

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11 Responses

  1. Scott
    Scott May 11, 2006 at 6:34 am | | Reply

    Hmmmm … while the concept is interesting, one can’t help but wonder how on earth one would dose with this stuff? I find it hard enough to dose properly with a pump which lets me dose in 0.1 units!! Sounds to me like another Exhubera, which, in my opinion, is perhaps the biggest waste of research dollars ever spent. By the way, I thought Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals pulled the plug on its funding of GMP’s INGAP treatment, so why would they fund an insulin toothpaste?

    It seems there is research into everything but the cure, huh? I’m not into conspiracy theories, but that leaves Colgate and Church & Dwight in the running (Church acquired Tom’s of Maine last year if I recall correctly).

  2. Robert
    Robert May 11, 2006 at 8:50 am | | Reply

    it looked like their kidney treatment was the use of ACE inhibitors. I’ve been on lisinopril for years now and was under the impression that it’s basically standard treatment nowadays. is there something else that the are doing that I missed?

  3. Rob
    Rob May 11, 2006 at 9:20 am | | Reply

    Fascinating post. So much so that I totally stole it. Because I am a bad man.

  4. Diabetes Notes
    Diabetes Notes May 11, 2006 at 9:22 am | | Reply

    Brush your way to proper diabetic health? Not any time soon.

    My friend Amy Tenderich over at Diabetes Mine has a fascinating post about rejected health innovations such as GenoMeds disappointing attempts to get industry support for developing specially formulated toothpaste that could deliver drugs like …

  5. Felix Kasza
    Felix Kasza May 11, 2006 at 5:16 pm | | Reply

    Allow me to note that people have been treated with ACEs and ARBs for decades. Why do folks treated for high BP still develop DM?

    Perhaps the reason for the silence around GenoMed is less a conspiracy and more a desire not to embarrass them more than they themselves do.

    Cheers,
    Felix.

  6. Bill the diabetesdoc
    Bill the diabetesdoc May 12, 2006 at 4:40 am | | Reply

    Amy:

    Please stop feeding the paranoia of those who think that the pharmaceutical industry (or the AMA, or anyone else) is actively discouraging the search for better therapies or “the cure”. I’ve worked in pharma for seven years, and not once did I ever hear anyone make any such conspiratorial statements.

    On the other hand, big pharma routinely investigates the outlandish claims made by small companies with bright ideas. These small companies don’t have the financial resources to run the big Phase III clinical trials that the FDA and other Health Authorities demand (in order to protect your safety, and be confident in any efficacy claims). So big pharma companies routinely do thorough vetting of the small companies’ ideas, their scientific validity, their studies to date, and the potential success of future trials. It’s mutually advantageous to the small company to find a partner, and for big pharma to find a potential product.

    Although I have no idea how often big pharma has looked at this particular company’s proposal, I suspect they already have, and have found the idea as outlandish as your readers have.

  7. AmyT
    AmyT May 12, 2006 at 7:12 am | | Reply

    Bill,
    As I’ve told you before, I just call ‘em like I see ‘em! I’d hardly call this “feeding the paranoia,” when so much discussion of Big Pharma ethics already exists. I find it fascinating.

    Note also that I get A LOT of people writing to me about their doubts/disgust with medical marketing. I’ve hardly sensationalized it. But one man who’s worked in the industry for over 10 years recently wrote to me saying, “The diabetes arena among corporations is very much a fraternity… Being involved in the corporate world and seeing how products are marketed to people with diabetes, I often get disturbed at how I’m instructed to sell these products to my customers.”

    It is what it is, Bill.

  8. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson May 12, 2006 at 10:19 am | | Reply

    I’m late to the party here, but better late than never.

    I sway back and forth between how I feel around the conspiracy theories and the search for the cure.

    While I think that for the most part, I don’t feel there is any “funny business” going on. And the fact that the two types of diabetes are so different that a “cure” for one is not likely to “cure” the other.

    But, you can’t convince me that if someone were to come along and wipe type 1 diabetes OR type 2 diabetes off the earth, that there would not be some major financial repercussions for some (or many) of the companies that benefit from the products used to manage them.

    And, we don’t like to think about it, but there are some (just some) ethically challenged executives out there who are not working towards our best interest, but rather their pocketbook. By any means necessary?

    I don’t know – maybe I read to many fiction novels…

  9. AmyT
    AmyT May 14, 2006 at 11:08 am | | Reply

    Not at all late, or unrealistic, either, Scott. I think you have a very healthy attitude about the whole thing :)

  10. neil kirk
    neil kirk October 10, 2007 at 6:34 am | | Reply

    I consider diabetes treatment fraud, conspiracy murder schemes for profit and generally ruining your whole metabolic process. I have been a diabetic since youth. I have posted info online. You will need a password to read the online document go to http://www.swibusdirectory,biz

  11. Diabetes Insulin Doctors
    Diabetes Insulin Doctors November 2, 2007 at 8:00 pm | | Reply

    I have gather substantial information about diabetes and insulin. The diabetic state can enlarge the intestines, lower kidney creatinine clearance, place you at risk of breast cancer, impair cognitive function, limit the signalling transmision from the mitochondria RNA to the mitochondria DNA. Further, high glucose can cause DNA damage equivalent to radiation. At the same time, too much insulin can cause an increase in blood pressure, too low can kill you, make you a risk on the highway and make you a very poor marital partner. Insulin in the correct amount will restore the creatinine clearance, shrink the intestines back to normal, restore brain function etc. The list goes on. Without insulin, your cells do not carry enough oxygen, this leads to a growth factor in the blood vesses, which increase breast cancer risks. Further, I suggest that no one every use two insulin types. Instead, do what your body does, give yourself short acting often when neeed. Test at least 12 times per day. Despite what doctors say, the A1c should really be between 4.5 and 4.8 since that places the glucose around 85-100. If you are insulin dependent as I am that can be challenging. You do not want to be over 6.5 period. Take my suggestions and despite diabetes, you ought to see the 100th birthday. Diabetics should be healthier than most because they do not eat pizza, beef pork, chips and all the garbage. If they do, they will not be as healthy as I. My resting heart rate 44 beats per minute. I exercise intensly for 2 hours non stop most days. I am adding more info on my site at http://www.swibusdirectory.biz

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