In the last few days in the world of diabetes has been unleashed an earthquake: a study published June 26 in Diabetologia, the journal of the EASD, has highlighted a possible carcinogenic effect of Lantus, ie insulin glargine. The famous and expensive insulin similar that allows anyone with diabetes to control their blood sugar through a basal rate of 24 hours (or almost) with one injection a day would be a health hazard, even if the conditional is a must .
A study of 127,000 patients with diabetes in Germany would have found that people who regularly use Lantus has 31% more chance of developing cancer within 1 year and a half, and that the risk is proportional to the amount of Lantus taken daily. Similar studies conducted in Sweden, Scotland and the United Kingdom have partially confirmed the results, but there have been some conflicting data. The Food and Drug Administration has opened an investigation to pursue the matter.
This is a preliminary research that is certainly thorough with further studies before arriving at a definitive answer, as the authors themselves have admitted the scientific publication. However it was great confusion unleashed by the news, along with the sensation exploded in diabetology. But above all it is great dismay that crosses many people with diabetes who use insulin that who request certain answers and quick. It is important to remember, however, that patients treated with Lantus must not stop treatment without the consent of your physician diabetologist.
Also from the financial point of view there is a stock market crash of the title Sanofi-Aventis: the French pharmaceutical company that produces the Lantus has lost more than 7% in one day of publication of the study. Sanofi Aventis is the same corporation that only a few days before the outbreak of the "scandal Lantus" announced the production of the vaccine against the famous "flu", also known as swine flu.
Immediately after the stock market crash, the Sanofi Aventis has seen fit to issue a series of statements, with which it aims to ensure that in fact the Lantus is completely safe and that there is no link with cancer, challenging the method used by the researchers in the study recently published. The question that arises is: "who" wanted to reassure the leaders of Sanofi Aventis? Doctors prescribing the Lantus? Or maybe the shareholders who buy stocks? The fear is that we forget the people. Because the money and interests revolving around these topics are so many, even many, and I would not want the biggest concern was that an effort to secure sales and capital, before the actual safety of the drug. But diabetics are really more important than money?
Doubts are also personally because I had heard rumors on the carcinogenicity of Lantus already two years ago, although at that time nobody talked about it and there was nothing confirmed about it, but because the news came just now, winning the most important media and newspapers worldwide? Perhaps because amplified by the noise of the collapse in the stock market? Or maybe because the economic interests demanded that things go well?
We must demand instead of at the center of the issue there is the person with diabetes and his health. Instead of reassuring "a priori", it would be good that everyone, including Sanofi Aventis, would take in hand the results of the study seriously, and to flesh out urgently with new research, so as to give a definite answer on Lantus and rapid, with the hope that this insulin is actually safe for all those who use it. We hope that this is the path taken by all companies, associations of diabetes, and scientific bodies. Stressing the importance of the individual above all else: it serves the ethical economy, especially in pharmacology, where comes in people's lives. We await answers.
Link to article of the study on Lantus and cancer published by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes: www.diabetologia-journal.org/cancer.html
Site Response Sanofi Aventis safety of Lantus: www.factsaboutlantus.com