From Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
I have a kitten with feline juvenile diabetes who has been regulated on Iletin (beef/pork) Lente. Eli Lilly, the last North American company to manufacture this animal-based insulin, is planning to stop production. We previously tried human and porcine insulins with no success. Do you know anywhere internationally where the beef/pork insulins will continue to be manufactured and how can I arrange to get them? I am also speaking for thousands of other cat owners in the same situation. Please let us know if you have a future source. Many of our pets' lives depend on it. Thanks!
Iletin beef/pork is being phased out according to Eli Lilly. The last batch will have an expiration date around the end of 2000. The pork only insulin will continue to be manufactured for another 4-5 years and then also phased out. The production is being halted because the outmoded production facilities and low sales figures. You will be able to stock up on the insulin and keep it unopened through the expiration date. The insulins cannot be frozen to keep longer.
There are several overseas pharmaceutical companies that I know manufacture beef/pork insulin but the products are not exported to North America. This may change in the next year or so.
Your pet will have a supply through 2000; hopefully, at that time, there will be better alternatives available.
Rebecca A. Price, MD
[Editor's comment: For lots more information about diabetes in cats, see the Feline Diabetes Web Site, which is maintained by Dr. Price. For more information about diabetes in cats and dogs, see Pets with Diabetes. WWQ]
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