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Diabetes May Be Reversed By Long-Used Vaccine, Drug-makers not interested

Anonymous Coward writes | about a year and a half ago

Science 1

An anonymous reader writes ""A tuberculosis vaccine in use for 90 years may help reverse Type 1 diabetes and eliminate the life- long need for insulin injections, say Harvard University researchers raising money to conduct large, human studies." "...they tried to interest every major drugmaker in developing the vaccine as a possible cure for diabetes. All told her there wasn’t enough money to be made in a cure that used an inexpensive, generically available vaccine.""
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No surprise! - Crowd funding might work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41175977)

One time medication to actually heal a chronic disease is like shooting yourself in the foot from the perspective of the pharma industry. The current situation for type 1 diabetics results in a life-long stream of money going to pharma: the patients, who often acquire diabetis at a very young age, need a life-long therapy of insulin substitution. They need to inject insulin several times a day (or continuously), so they need syringes (or the modern version, "insulin pens") or, if they can afford it or their health insurance is willing to pay, an insulin pump. On top of that there is the constant need to take measurements of your blood glucose level. While the glucose meters for home use are quite cheap today, the test strips used for the measurements are quite a cost factor: A single strip can cost up to 0.5$ depending on the type (reminds me of ink printers and ink in a way). The costs will amount to several hundred dollars per month in many cases, while insulin pens are often given away free (ink printers, anyone?), insulin pumps, after more than 25 years of development, still cost a fortune.

Why should any pharmaceutical company invest in interrupting that permanent stream of revenue?

After my opinion this is a very good case for crowd funding.

While the number of type 1 diabetics is relatively low, the costs involved can be a problem not only for themselves, but also for their families. And, where there is a public health (insurance) system, the possible long-term complications caused by type 1 diabetes, like kidney insufficiency, coronary heart disease, poly-neuropathy, etc, add to the costs of the diabetes itself and severly decrease the quality of life and life-expectancy of the patients.

May be some crowd funding orchestrated by a neutral, "free and open source" foundation could do the trick. As the vaccine exsists, and for a long time, it should be comparativly "cheap" to get the treatment going.

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