After last week’s announcement by Lilly, I’m pretty sure there is a lot of people asking the same question? Who will benefit from the cure?
That’s a realistic account of what might happen in the process to finding a cure for T1D. Lilly’s investment in a stem-cell encapsulation technology company could mean that a large pharma-corporation would be the economic gate-keeper to a cure.
I still hold out hope that the breakthrough to a cure for T1D will pass through people more influenced by the altruism of Banting and two of his colleagues who sold their patent for insulin for $1 each. The most important thing is for the cure to actually arrive. We can then sort out the much easier problem of the economic consequences later.
At this point, I think successful deployment of encapsulated beta-cells still falls under the heading of a treatment, not a cure.
Cell encapsulation is not a cure for diabetes. It is simply another gadget to market. They are still not addressing the autoimmune attack that destroys beta cells.
The last altruistic “cure” were the polio vaccines by Jonas Salk (inactivated) and Albert Sabin (oral). Both researchers gave away their developments to mankind. The pharmaceutical industry learned a lesson from this… and all the industries that went belly-up as a result including the iron lung manufacturers.
I am convinced that there is a cure for diabetes (and other diseases) under wraps somewhere while big pharma markets their gadgets and pills and insulins and rakes in big profits.
Call me paranoid but I can’t believe that after all this time the best they can do is implant shielded beta cells that have to be replaced periodically.