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From Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA:

I have had type 1 diabetes for almost 48 years. Someone told me they heard that there is an insulin patch that can be placed under the skin. Do you have any information on this?


Perhaps the story has got muddled. The GlucoWatch, an instrument that measures blood glucose and which will hopefully be approved soon, senses glucose levels via an iontophoresis patch placed underneath the instrument, but on the skin. The MiniMed company has a sensor that is placed in the subcutaneous tissues, but it is essentially a needle and not a patch.

Other means of providing insulin that do not involve injection are constantly under review. Insulin by inhalation is rather well devloped, and insulin bonded to an insulin transport protein is being investigated as a possible oral preparation. There have been trials of administering insulin by iontophoresis and lately there is news of another skin patch delivery system from a company in Canada. So far, none of these devices, except, perhaps, inhalation has the reliability of insulin by injection.

I guess my reply reflects my prejudice against these alternative approaches because they lack the versatility of injections, especially in children. One of the main pillars of good control is surely the ability to vary insulin dose in relation to blood sugar levels and appetite.


Additional comments from David Mendosa, A Writer on the Web:

See New Insulin Skin Patch, Purchase puts U of S spin-off company in world leagues, and University of Saskatchewan Spin-Off Set to Become the Site of World Class Drug Delivery Research Centre.


Original posting 19 Sep 2000
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
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