Insulin quality questions have diabetes experts scrambling
A pharmacist's preliminary research suggesting that some diabetes patients may be injecting medicine that has partially disintegrated is causing concern.
A pharmacist's preliminary research suggesting that some diabetes patients may be injecting medicine that has partially disintegrated is causing concern. Lead researcher Alan Carter, a pharmacist and adjunct instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, bought vials of insulin at a number of pharmacies and found that, on average, the vials had less than one-half of what was listed on the label and none met a minimum standard. The study tested just 18 vials of insulin and questions have been raised about the methods used to test the insulin. Insulin makers, patient advocate groups, and diabetes experts assert that if the findings were accurate, diabetes patients would be getting sick. The groups are discussing how to quickly mount a major study that would ease fears by involving multiple research labs, different testing methods, and many more samples of various insulin types. The original study, published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, tested insulin solutions in vials bought at multiple pharmacies, supplied by different wholesalers, in Kansas and Missouri. The concentration, or number of insulin units in the liquid solution, was labeled as 100 units per milliliter. But they averaged less than one-half of that, and none met the 95-unit minimum standard, said Carter.