Well, the FDA approved Lantus in 2000 and Levemir in 2005. I think those were big innovations. The discovery of how to modify insulin into an insulin analogue with useful pharmalogical properties was made in 1985. It took 15 years to get to market, actually shorter than some timelines.
I do agree with you that the whole process is somewhat corrupt. Pharmaceutical companies will only invest in drug development where they can make money. They can't make money with a "cure." And they won't make money by developing a cheap, once a week insulin. So we depend on others, the ADA, the JDRF and NIH to invest and protect our interests. But the ADA has always been corrupt, they are controlled by big pharma. And the NIH has historically been as bad as the NIH, being in the bed with the pharma and medical industry. It is almost a revolving door. And that was the whole reason the JDRF was created. But the JDRF is in a difficult position. It cannot take a discovery and bring it to fruition.
So, I don't disagree with you that there is some seriously smelly stuff going on. As diabetics, we should advocate for the interests of patients, it seems at times that nobody else will. But that being said, we also have to be realistic about the long difficult process required to bring new treatments to us.
I would say the truly big breakthrough was home bg testing coupled with MDI or a pump. That goes back to the early 80's or maybe a little earlier in terms of me learning about them. And was proven effective by the DCCT and is now the standard of care.
Before home bg testing? Stone knives and bearskins.
These fancy-pants insulin analogs have timings more convenient than the older insulins but not really revolutionary. And they cost a buttload more money that what was available (for just a few dollars per vial) in the 70's.
I totally agree that we should advocate in the interests of us the patients, but it looks like once again that money is at the centre of things. It's as if they making cash from our suffering. Sorry i dont want to sound all doom and gloom:) .
The way I see it, the only chance we have is if BCG can reverse diabetes. They can't stop us from using an already approved drug. It's just insane to think we live in a world where possibly sparing human suffering at the cost of losing money is a no no. It's like we are against ourselves! Hell Casey Anthony gets away scott free after murdering her own daughter and we can't even get superior life saving insulin fast tracked to help us live more peaceful. WTF is that all about? It's bad enough if the science just can't pan out but the thought of people making sure it doesn't happen is sickening!