Stem Cell Research in the U.S.
My personal interest is in finding a cure for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. My
now 15 year old daughter was diagnosed almost 5 years ago. So far, she has
pricked her fingers approximately 11,000 times, and has taken about 7,500
insulin injections. If she had cancer, she could hope to be cured – or at
least to go into remission so she wouldn't need 4 or 5 or 6 insulin shots
every day just to stay alive. Right now, all we can hope for is that she
doesn't have a heart attack or a stroke, that she doesn’t go blind, that
her kidneys keep working and that her feet and legs don’t have to be amputated.
Next, I am going to review the financial's from the 2003 and 2004 Annual
Reports of Eli Lilly & Company, one of the major producers of insulin.
Before I do, I want to remind you that insulin will never cure diabetes. It
is what my 15-year-old refers to as her ‘lifeline’. It keeps a diabetic
alive, but does not prevent the catastrophic side effects. And it will
never cure anyone!
2003: “Our worldwide sales…increased 14%, to 12.58 billion dollars.”
Sources of revenue: “Diabetes care products, composed primarily of
Humulin…Humalog…and Actos…had aggregate worldwide revenues of 2.57
billion dollars.” Ladies and gentlemen, 20% of the worldwide sales were
from 3 products, 2 of which (Humulin and Humalog) are for ‘maintenance’ of
type 1 diabetics. In 2003, Humulin sales in the US were 507.5 million
dollars, and were 658.6 million dollars for Humalog.
The 2004 numbers are equally staggering. The same three products had That’s 5.18 billion dollars in a two-year period – to treat patients who
will not get better. That’s a whole loot of insurance and medicare dollars
going to two drugs to maintain a condition for which there actually might
be a cure.
Breakthroughs using stem cell therapies have been announced all over the
world, and involving many conditions, such as reversing the side effects of
diabetes, curing type 1 juvenile diabetes, restoration of immune systems in
cancer patients, improvement of a Parkinson’s patient’s motor skills by
83%, reversal of heart tissue damage in a heart attack victim, the list
goes on and on. Stem cells work, and more research is needed.
This is not a religious issue. This is a health issue. This is a “where are
my Medicare dollars going?” The issue is a quality of life issue. Even though
the dollars are huge, let’s not forget that the main benefits from stem
cell research and therapies are to improve the health and to save the lives
of millions who suffer, or who may in the future suffer from diseases that
could be treated or cured with new stem cell therapies. We are talking
about improvement of the quality of a human life!
I am PRO-CURE not just for my daughter, but for all diseases.