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From Portland, Oregon, USA:

My wife is 46 years old and has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 10. She has been able to control it remarkably well for 36 years and other than some slight eye issues, has no serious complications. Lately, she has been forced to switch from beef-pork to pure pork insulin, causing her reactions to escalate from very occasional to multiple times per week. Now we can't even obtain the pure pork insulin. On several occasions during the past few years, she has made the attempt to switch her regimen to human insulins, all totally unsuccessfully. She just never is able to get the right combination of shots, even though she uses 2-3 shots per day and has her whole life. Is there no source left in the entire world for beef-pork insulin? This seems like a complete lack of good faith on the part of the major drug companies to produce a drug that millions of people depend on and then simply pull the plug for financial reasons.


I know of no continuing source of animal insulin. I do realize that some will suffer when it is withdrawn, but we will have to adjust. I would suggest premeal lispro insulin [Humalog®] and bedtime NPH as an new treatment scheme. She may also need small doses of NPH in the morning.


[Editor's comment: If she's not under the care of an endocrinologist who has the support of a multidisciplinary treatment team, I'd suggest she find one to help her with the switch. Another option that might work well for her, as I understand her circumstances, would be an insulin pump. WWQ]

[Editor's comment: For additional information about animal-derived insulin, see The Compassionate Use Project. JSH]

Original posting 14 Nov 1998
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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