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12 Responses

  1. Scott
    Scott September 30, 2009 at 7:19 am | | Reply

    Most patients in this situation (and I’ve met many of them, all of whom are very knowledgeable about diabetes management and feel very strongly about this topic), find the easiest solution is to simply buy animal-sourced insulin from a Canadian pharmacy, as it doesn’t even require a prescription from a doctor. One Canadian pharmacy that sells porcine insulin online is http://www.getcanadiandrugs.com/ and search for “Hypurin R” or “Hypurin N”, but it’s costly (at $131.00 per vial, although that isn’t significantly more costly than newer analogues at retail prices) since it’s imported from the UK, but may be purchased with a Flexible Spending Account using pre-tax dollars!

  2. Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom
    Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom September 30, 2009 at 7:20 am | | Reply

    I always assumed that synthetic insulin was a medical advancement, but I guess it was not for some.

    As vegetarians, I wonder if we would even consider using a pork-based insulin. I think I would have to research how it is actually harvested and if it would benefit my child greatly.

    My concern with feeding my family meat is more from an environmental standpoint–meat production takes a large toll on the environment from the amount of water and grains needed to the pollution created. If I ever gave my children meat it would have to be organically grown so as not to expose them to growth hormones, antibiotics etc.

    That being said, when you have a child (or yourself) with a life or death medical condition, you do what you have to do, whether it is in agreement with your underlying belief system or not.

    Like the fact that we are creating a landfill of used test strips, lancets, syringes, pen needles, alcohol swabs, juice boxes, etc., none of which can be recycled.

    And even responsible disposable of those products that can be recycled costs the patient money (like OmniPod’s recycling program).

  3. knox's dad
    knox's dad September 30, 2009 at 9:09 am | | Reply

    I am almost certain that it was 1986 that all new type 1′s were placed on synthetic insulin. Shortly after that time Eli Lilly began to crystallize beef, pork and beef/pork insulins for storage purposes.
    I remember hearing that there was enough of a stash to last 75 years or so.
    If my memory is correct the idea was that anybody in the U.S. that needed to go back to an animal insulin could in there lifetime (with the expectation that in 75 years you would have passed on). Everyone diagnosed after 1986 has always been placed on synthetic insulin first.
    I am sure that there is a process in which someone can contact Eli Lilly, fill out forms and get your doctor to support the need for you as well.
    Sounds bizarre but I got this from a retired Eli Lilly scientist about 8 years ago at an ADA event.
    Timeframes and dates may not be perfect but I believe I am spot on.

  4. k2
    k2 September 30, 2009 at 9:10 am | | Reply

    I don’t know what to think! I’m with Leighann, I always thought synthetic insulin was a medical advancement.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about!!
    Kelly K

  5. tmana
    tmana September 30, 2009 at 9:43 am | | Reply

    Check out some of Scott Strumello’s back posts and Allie Beatty’s back posts — both have posted misgivings concerning the structural form, pH, lot-to-lot variability, and other issues concerning synthetic insulin.

  6. Scott
    Scott September 30, 2009 at 9:46 am | | Reply

    Synthetic insulin was an advancement … for the biotechnology industry, but NOT for patients (BTW, a number of animal-derived raw materials are used in the production of synthetic “human” insulin [rDNA]. These are peptone, beef extract and pepticase which are used in the preparation and storage of cell banks, and L-threonine and trypsin- used in the purification process to convert the synthetic insulin precursor to human insulin methyl ester. Pepticase is derived from casein from milk from healthy cows only and no other ruminant materials are used in its preparation. L-threonine is sourced from avian feathers and porcine gelatine and trypsin-calcium acetate solution from PORCINE PANCREAS, raising questions about just how “human” any synthetic insulins/analogues really are since their production depends exclusively on animal-derived ingredients).

    Most patients in this situation (and I’ve met many of them, all of whom are very knowledgeable about diabetes management and feel very strongly about this topic), find the easiest solution is to simply buy animal-sourced insulin from a Canadian pharmacy, as it doesn’t even require a prescription from a doctor. One Canadian pharmacy that sells porcine insulin online is http://www.getcanadiandrugs.com/ and search for “Hypurin R” or “Hypurin N”, but it’s costly (at $131.00 per vial, although that isn’t significantly more costly than newer analogues at retail prices) since it’s imported from the UK, but may be purchased with a Flexible Spending Account using pre-tax dollars!

  7. Doug
    Doug September 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

    It could be that the hypo unawareness is due more to Jims BG averaging 300+ rather than the type of insulin.

    Im one of the ones that was started on Human insulins when DX in 1988.

  8. MelissaBL
    MelissaBL October 1, 2009 at 8:16 am | | Reply

    Another consideration is that some patients are allergic to the human synthetics. I remember meeting a young man several years ago who was on pork insulin because he experienced terrible allergic reactions to synthetics. It’s criminal that there isn’t a reasonable outlet for U.S. patients to get the very thing that Banting and Best worked so hard to develop for them.

  9. daniel goichman
    daniel goichman December 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm | | Reply

    i feel that the animal insulin is the best type of insulin for my body. i have been diabetic since 1972 and have had very good results using animal insulin and no damage from it.
    i suffer from hypothermia and the animal insulin doesnt hide it like the human insulin does for me.
    so i need to get and stay on the animal insulin. it makes me feel better and my body enjoys food more when im on it.

  10. Compromise Your Health or Your Beliefs?
    Compromise Your Health or Your Beliefs? December 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm |

    [...] saline trial with the OmniPod last week. But first I wanted to expand upon a comment I left over at The Diabetes Mine regarding animal [...]

  11. PatriciaM
    PatriciaM February 2, 2010 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    Check out Standard Process supplements–they are animal based for various conditions–and prescribed by holistic practitioners and MD’s
    I am currently taking them for a pre-diabetic condition (preventative maintainance as such) results pending.
    Hope this is helpful to someone.

  12. Canada Drugstore Online
    Canada Drugstore Online January 20, 2013 at 11:34 am | | Reply

    . I wish someone would listen. I know what most would say – “better this quality of life than when you are blind, missing limbs, kidneys fail, etc http://www.canadadiscountdrugstore.com
    Its Really my choise

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