How do you get a giant pharmaceutical company to listen? Make a lot of noise, say the founders of three patient advocate groups that formed when animal insulins were pulled from the market in Europe and North America.
Eli Lilly responded to Ressmeyer with a letter informing him that "The rising costs of continued production of some formulations, in view of decreasing therapeutic use of them here and abroad, forced us to reevaluate our strategy. The result was that we substantially narrowed our insulin product line by discontinuing some lesser used products, such as animal Ultralente insulin."
In our November and December issues we tackled the topic of animal insulins being pulled off the market by Novo Nordisk in our article "Where's the Beef?" Also in my column I wrote about my personal experiences with taking beef Ultralente insulin (beef U). I had discovered an insulin which worked perfectly for me while I was off my insulin pump. While taking beef U I had better blood sugar control than I had ever been able to achieve before. The rub in this matter is that the insulin, beef U is no longer available.
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