health
Thursday Sep 01 2022
By
Web Desk

Are oral insulin pills finally here?

By
Web Desk
Type 2 diabetes patient gives himself insulin shot. — Reuters
Type 2 diabetes patient gives himself insulin shot. — Reuters

  • Oral tablet can replace needles and deliver the entire dosage to liver.
  • In America alone, diabetes is eighth leading cause of death.
  • Standard insulin injection is 100 IU per shot.


A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada have developed an oral drug that can act as an alternative to insulin injections. Daily Mail reported.

The oral tablet can replace needles and deliver the entire dosage to a diabetic patient's liver. Previous attempts of creating such a medication failed as the drug would mostly end up in the stomach instead of being absorbed in the liver.

Many diabetic patients have to use needles multiple times a day to manage their illness and provide insulin to the body. 

In America alone, diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death causing more than 100,000 fatalities.

Dr Anubhav Pratap-Singh, the principal investigator of the study said that oral tablets could not only replace injections but also consequently improve the mental well-being of millions of people who suffer from type 1 diabetes.

The team's invention uses the inside of the cheek and lips for the absorption of the drug. A thin lining called buccal mucosa inside the mouth allows the full dosage to travel to its destination.

A type 1 diabetic patient cannot produce their own insulin to manage blood sugar. The standard insulin injection is 100 IU per shot.

Previous attempts of developing oral medicine included 500 IU of insulin for it to properly function. 

This increases the price of the pill for no reason when affording insulin is already difficult for many.

The UBC team tested their drug on rats and saw promising results. They hope that their invention will soon help those with type 1 diabetes who currently have no option but the use of needles.