I have been invited to join the Phase 3 clinical studies of MannKind's Technosphere inhaled insulin. Exciting, ay? You can't imagine what all's going through my mind: Farewell to needles? (except for the night-time Lantus) Just a puff and then snack-city! What kind of looks do you get in restaurants with a purple inhaler? Will I be one of the first to show lung deterioration?! And much, much more.
First off, I did my homework on the company, of course. Among the companies working to make inhaled insulin happen (Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk), MannKind Corp. is considered the "dark horse." According to this excellent "Motley Fool" article, the relatively small company would need to be acquired by a larger pharma giant to really make it in the long run.
But its technology is exciting because its powder-form insulin is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream (for better D-control), and its compact delivery device is apparently the most handy and easy to use. No wonder MannKind's known for innovation, since it was founded by "living legend Al Mann, who founded MiniMed some time ago, pretty much built the insulin pump market, and then sold the company to Medtronic for a handsome price."
Nevertheless, the company won't be filing for FDA approval of Technosphere until mid-2008. In the meantime, as Investor's Business Daily points out, all the companies are studying "respitory concerns." * cough! *
So do I sign up for a two-year study to help out? Will it make my personal situation better or worse? Even if I'm in the "control group" that ends up continuing on regular insulin therapy?
Here's my list of considerations so far:
* If I'm in the active group, goodbye to injections!
* Helping the greater diabetes community by furthering important research
* Just a puff, and then a snack. Wow!
* Free stuff: all the examinations, insulin, and supplies are free (monetary compensation is tiny, hardly worth mentioning)
* If I'm in the control group, I can still go on the pump or do whatever I like -- since the study is only comparing LUNG FUNCTION in the two groups
* Lung damage -- which they say is reversible, even IF it occurs (cough!)
* Other health risks -- who the heck knows what this stuff can do to you over time? That's why they're putting on this study, after all
* The "Hassle Factor" -- there are lots of doctors appointments, blood work, and even CAT scans involved (!)
* Locked in for 2 years (you can opt out, but ethics say you shouldn't unless you experience real adverse effects)
* i.e. what if I just don't like it, and decide I want to go on the pump at some point? Am I a quitter?
Anyone care to vote? What would YOU do?