Reviews and reports

Insulin – A Voice for Choice by Arthur Teuscher

Published by Karger Bern
ISBN-13: 978-3-8055-8353-4
August 2007

A thorough discussion of the controversy surrounding animal and "human" insulin

In the early 1980’ synthetic "human" insulin produced by recombinant DNA technology came onto the market. Despite an acknowledgment by the manufacturers regarding the potential dangers of "human" insulin they soon began to withdraw bovine and porcine insulin from markets all over the world, and promoted more expensive "human" insulins as a superior replacement. Diabetics had no option but to effectively switch to the new synthetic insulins and often they received little or no information about their potentially life-threatening side effects.

In the first part of this book the author provides fundamental information about insulin therapy and its history. A detailed discussion of the hazards confronting some diabetic patients when using "human" insulin follows. Due to more pronounced hypoglycemia symptoms animal insulin can be regarded as safer than "human" insulin for 10-20% of diabetic patients. The last part of this publication looks at the pharmaceutical industry’s decision to withdraw animal insulin from the market and describes the struggles of a new global movement to secure its continued availability.

This book not only provides potentially vital background information for those who depend on insulin, but also deserves the attention of professionals who prescribe or distribute this medication. It can also serve as a reference for patient advocates, relevant government departments and pharmaceutical companies.

"Arthur Teuscher’s lucid analysis of the saga of human insuilin should be compulsory reading for patients and professionals alike. This is a cautionary tale of how an overmighty pharmaceutical industry has, under the guise of progress, adversely influenced the best interests of those with diabetes. But it also tells the important story of how an alliance between physicians and patients has successfully campaigned to bring this issue to public attention and thus guaranteed for those who need it, continued access to the mot appropriate treatment for their needs."

James Le Fanu, MD, FRCP, London Columnist for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.

"An important book for all who need insulin, and for their physicians to help them understand the message!"

Andrew Herxheimer, MB, FRCP, London, Emeritus Fellow of the UK Cochrane Cntre, Co-Founder of the International Society of Drug Bulletins and DIPEx

"It is a masterpiece which clearly describes the unfortunate saga and cause which Arthur Teuscher has expounded for 20 years. It is in many ways a sad story but at least there is some cause for optimism, as there is a reasonable chance that the groundswell of public opinion will ensure that animal insulin becomes more widely available."

Professopr Jim Mann, University of Otago, New Zealand

‘Insulin – A Voice for Choice’ can be obtained directly from IDDT, price £10.00 incl p&p – click here to order this book from the IDDT Book Shop.

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