Medical break through with once-a-week insulin shot for diabetes patients

Reporter: Amy Oshier
Published: Updated:

Diabetes has been called the largest epidemic in human history.

More than 37 millions Americans live with it right now and more than 90% of those have Type 2 diabetes.

But now, a breakthrough in the diabetes world may simplify the future of diabetes treatment. Novo Nordisk, in Denmark, created the once-weekly insulin shot. They plan to file for market approval in the U.S., Europe and China.

It could hit doctors’ offices by the middle of next year.

It could help diabetes patients who need insulin.

“If you went somewhere, you had to take your glucose monitoring kit with you,” said Chris Sheridan.

Sheridan, 48, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 20 years ago and has checked his glucose levels every day for years now.

“I had to give myself a shot everyday,” he said.

He had to remember to take his insulin while working on his jeep. He also had to ensure he had it while in the middle of nowhere.

But then Sheridan was offered to be part of a clinical trial that would allow him to take only one insulin shot a week.

“It is taking the same, a molecule of insulin, a human insulin, a synthetic human insulin, but it’s been altered a little bit and allows it to last longer in the body and get taken up a little bit slower,” said Athena Philis-Tsimikas, an adult endocrinologist with the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.

Philis-Tsimikas is part of the team leading an international study comparing the new once-weekly shot to the daily insulin shots.

“There was not only equal lowering of the blood sugar to an equivalent amount between the two groups, but there was actually greater lowering, better blood glucose control,” Philis-Tsimikas said.

This one shot may give millions of people new hope in the new year.

“When you think about a once-weekly injection for people with diabetes, they’re going from having to take 365 injections a year to only 52 times a year. And although this might not seem like a lot to you and me, to the person having to do the injection, it can be incredibly significant,” Philis-Tsimikas said.

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