Eli Lilly Insulin History

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Why Treating Diabetes Keeps Getting More Expensive

Laura Marston is one of the 1.25 million Americans who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder in which a person's pancreas can't make insulin. She hoards vials of the life-saving medicine in her refrigerator to protect herself from the drug's rising prices. (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post) At first, the researchers who discovered insulin agonized about whether to patent the drug at all. It was 1921, and the team of biochemists and physicians based in Toronto was troubled by the idea of profiting from a medicine that had such widespread human value, one that could transform diabetes from a death sentence into a manageable disease. Ultimately, they decided to file for a patent — and promptly sold it to the University of Toronto for $3, or $1 for each person listed. It was the best way, they believed, to ensure that no company would have a monopoly and patients would have affordable access to a safe, effective drug. “Above all, these were discoverers who were trying to do a great humanitarian thing,” said historian Michael Bliss, “and they hoped their discovery was a kind of gift to humanity.” But the drug also has become a gift to the pharmaceutical industry. Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. krisiepoo

    In the medical orders, the MD will write something like "if BGL less than 140, no insulin... 140-150 give 2 units... 151-160 give 3 units" or something similar, depends on the person, depends on the doctor...
    essentially give a different amt of insulin based on what their BGLs are

  2. Esme12

    Quote from AdoreMyBeautyy
    On my next test we will have to calculate insulin on a sliding scale... Can someone please explain. To me how.. For some reason I'm confused How do you mean? They will supply the scale and you decide what to cover and with how much?

  3. RainMom

    A sliding scale is simply a chart of blood glucose values with corresponding doses of insulin to guide the nurse for treatment. For example at my facility, a typical scale is:
    CBG 151-175 : 2 units Humalog
    CBG 176-200 : 4 units
    CBG 201-250 : 6 units
    & so forth
    So if your pt's CBG is 165, you treat with 2 units; CBG 212 - 6 units; CBG 138 - no insulin.
    The scale is not always the same for every pt. Some start with higher doses (4-6 units at CBG 151) or don't treat until CBG is higher (200). The sliding scale to follow is given as a guideline in the MAR.
    I imagine for testing, you will be given a sliding scale, your pt's CBG & asked what dose of insulin you will give. It's just a matter of matching the CBG result with the corresponding dose.

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