March 22, 2023

A newer form of insulin delivery is bettering the lives of some diabetics – but after seven years on the market, patients say it needs more name recognition.

When we heard about a drug that is changing the lives of people with diabetes we knew we had to look into it it’s called a frezza it’s the only drug of its kind and it’s been on the market for more than seven years but patients and doctors alike tell us it just doesn’t have the name recognition so why should you care the cdc says 11 percent of the u.s population

Has diabetes about 1 in every 10 people and it has a big impact on communities of color especially indigenous black and hispanic americans abc 10’s rebecca hoebegger has the story i was diagnosed in 1983 i was 13 years old that puts me at 38 years living with type 1 diabetes anthony hightower his partner ledy santana i was diagnosed in 1999 and their friend matt

Macedo i came late to the party i got diagnosed at 25 all have type 1 diabetes it could be a very lonely disease if you don’t have that support they’re part of a sacramento-based group called duck fibres which anthony started years ago as a team name for a cycling event and now you know we have this community of diabetics here locally in sacramento and so we’ve

Hosted roller skating parties baseball games they tell other diabetics about a medicine that has changed their lives but to understand how it works it’s important to know this diabetes is a condition where your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin dr adela ansari of mercy medical group explains we all need insulin to turn blood sugar or glucose into energy that

Fuels our bodies it is important for your blood sugar to be at certain range and if patients have diabetes it results in much higher level of blood sugar which leads to a long run more complication affecting your eyes your kidneys nerves and high risk of strokes and heart disease there are several types of diabetes and we won’t get into the specific differences

Here but generally type 1 patients have to put insulin into their body every day and some type 2 patients do as well the most common way by far is through liquid insulin that can be taken by injection or by using a pump which involves an insulin dispenser connected to a small tube placed just under the skin people who use insulin to control their blood sugar levels

Take extra around a meal or snack that’s because the food will raise their blood sugar level and they need the insulin to help lower it back to a safe range but as anthony explains figuring out the timing and the dosage is complicated an injection for me takes about 45 minutes to an hour to start working which is very difficult if you’re going out to eat you don’t

Know what you’re going to pick but yet you still have to guess and count your carbs and figure out what you’re going to have take your insulin based on those calculations and then 45 minutes to an hour later if your food’s not ready you could be in trouble so now what a lot of people are doing is they’re just taking their injections once their food is there or right

When they order it but at that point now you’re dealing with these high blood sugars because you’ve already eaten but you’ve only taken your your insulin just before you’ve eaten so now your blood sugars are sky high for 45 minutes to an hour or so before your insulin starts to kick in and then the traditional insulins continue to work from three to five hours so

Now your food’s out of your body your insulin’s still working and you’re dropping below that low level so now you’re feeling these post-meal hypoglycemic reactions hypoglycemic reactions are when your blood sugar drops below a certain levels and gives you this feeling of like you’re about to die but matt anthony and letty all of whom used liquid insulin for years

Say that’s not a problem for them anymore they now use an insulin delivery method that’s inhaled it’s the only one on the market and it’s been available for about seven years it’s called a frezza having the liquid insulin was always a struggle and then getting the medication just right going from that to a frezza has just been absolutely life-changing it’s been so

Freeing i would say it’s absolutely life-changing it’s changed my life as far as my diabetes is concerned instead of having to calculate the exact amount of liquid insulin to take based on a guess of the amount of carbs in a meal a frezza comes in just three different doses we don’t even count carbs i don’t don’t count carbs anymore i just see a meal and see small

Medium large and dose accordingly that kind of just gives you a range as long as you’re within this range you’re fine but a frezza is a whole new way of thinking about insulin the biggest benefit they say is how quickly afresa gets to work and then gets out of their system you have a noticeable effect between 10 and 12 minutes we can see it because we all wear a

Thing called the continuous glucose monitor and that goes in every five minute increments so after about three dots or 15 minutes after you’ve inhaled you’ll see a noticeable effect where if you’re starting to trend up it starts to level out and it starts to go back down to the level that you want it to be liquid insulin is four hours out of your system afrezza is

Out in 90 minutes the beauty of frezza is the speed in and speed out it’s not necessarily that’s an inhaled to me that’s a bonus now i actually take it when my meal is delivered to me so while my food is now digesting it out of my system my blood sugar is starting to level out because afreso is leveling out i definitely can tell you it’s a game changer for patients

Dr ansari says afrezza is faster acting because of how the inhaled insulin is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs the majority of the injectable insulin are delivered through capillary system which takes longer time to really peak and stay longer in your system but when you look at the fresa it really delivers the insulin directly into the arterial blood

System so it goes quickly into take an effect very fast as opposed to the injectable your dip and dots ice cream so like those freeze little pellets we freeze dry fresh and nitrogen in a monomeric form so as soon as you inhale in your lungs it releases the technology into your blood so there’s not there’s no waste there’s no time waiting for the travel through your

Your tissue michael castagna is ceo of mankind the company that makes a frezza he says there are about 3 000 doctors throughout the u.s who prescribe a frezza and about 10 000 patients taking it a fraction of one percent of the people who could potentially benefit about four million five million people who live with diabetes on insulin every day for their meal

Time control so i asked him this has been on the market for some seven years people who use it call it life changing why isn’t it more widely used and known about i would say two two main things i’ve worked on this for five years now so so it’s it’s uh what first was the company didn’t have a lot of money so therefore we couldn’t raise awareness this is no large

Company although mankind has several drugs in the pipeline afrezza was its first on the market with a second one launching this summer i’d say the number one thing is the majority of people do not know it exists and then the second one is doctors because they were trained on injectable insulin they know injectable insulin we didn’t train the us doctors on inhaled

Insulin doctors just don’t believe it sometimes it’s very frustrating i tell them get your own clinical experience why wait well version of afrezza for kids is still in trials meanwhile the drug is not cheap but the company says there’s financial assistance available for some patients and they encourage anyone with questions to reach out we have more information at

Transcribed from video
'Afrezza' | Inhaled form of insulin a ‘game-changer’ for diabetics By ABC10