Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pharmaceutical companies, insulin and restriction of diabetics' choices

The free market in pharmaceuticals doesn't necessarily increase patient choice, as this piece from the ever interesting Dr James Le Fanu in The Daily Telegraph shows. Its about insulin, which used to be derived from pigs and cows until the 1980s when genetically engineered human insulin started to be produced. The snag is that the genetically engineered version doesn't suit all diabetics. Some - surveys suggest as many as one in four - have to use the older type of insulin. But guess what ...
"...This is likely to prove increasingly difficult as more drug companies switch to producing only the more profitable genetically-engineered forms..."
Not good enough, this aquatic creature says. Insulin is a basic need for diabetics. If drug companies stop producing it, the government must step in and if necessary produce it themselves.


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