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After Insulin: The Lingering Effects Of An Incurable Disease

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Chapter Summary

Before the introduction of insulin the management of diabetes was bleak. Diabetics had to be hospitalized for weeks on end, not much different from the treatment they received in the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, following experiments with pancreatectomies on dogs that then developed fatal diabetes, physiologists focused professional and public attention on the lack of an internally secreted pancreas hormone in human diabetics. Bestowing the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Canadian Frederick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod in 1923, the awards committee overlooked Best. Insulin demand worldwide rose so fast that an experienced pharmaceutical house had to step in and in May 1922 Lilly agreed to pay royalties to the University of Toronto to support research in return for manufacturing rights in North and South America.

Keywords: Canadian Frederick Banting; diabetes; insulin; J.J.R. Macleod; pancreas hormone



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