The development of oral insulin: Can a pill replace an insulin injection?
For diabetics who require insulin, treatment has involved painful injections. The future may hold an alternative. Ramachandra Naik, MD, tells about a national study that's underway involving a pill form of insulin. Naik is a professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Upstate and the assistant dean for translational and clinical research programs. The medication being studied is made by Oramed Pharmaceuticals and designed for people with Type 2 diabetes -- the more common form of the disease, formerly called adult-onset diabetes. Insulin has been injected into the bloodstream because if it were taken by mouth, the digestive system would break it down before it could be put to use by the body. Naik explains that the new pill is has a protective coating, allowing the insulin to enter the bloodstream once it arrives in the intestinal tract.