Insulin has come a long way since 63-year-old Andy Mandell, executive director of Defeat Diabetes Foundation, a Madeira Beach, Fla.-based educational organization, began taking it.
For many people with type 2 diabetes, Lantus (insulin glargine), a long-acting insulin approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000, proved to be a boon.
Pre-mixed insulins combine an intermediate-acting insulin with one that starts to work more quickly. They're handy for patients because one shot takes care of two different insulin needs. But these concoctions are not as precise as some doctors would like.
Another innovation, the first inhaled insulin, Exubera, proved not to be very popular. In October 2007 Pfizer said it would stop selling the product. Difficult dosing, a higher cost, and the need for frequent lung-function tests likely damped enthusiasm for this breakthrough treatment.