The High Cost of Newer Insulin

Many Feline Diabetes can do Fine Without Expensive  Insulin

I have a 14 year old diabetic cat. We've always used Humulin U insulin. We now use PZI-Vet at a cost of $100 versus $30.00 for the Humulin that we can’t get anymore. Are there less expensive alternatives? I'm not putting a dollar amount on my kitty's life-she's priceless. I'm frustrated and worry about those unfortunate kitties whose owners can’t afford it. Once again the drug manufactures have seen a golden opportunity to increase their profits.


Dr. Nichol:

Diabetes is no fun for anybody but for many cats it can get easier. Type II diabetes, the most common form in cats, is caused by inadequate or delayed insulin secretion. The good news is that a significant number of these kitties are treatable without injections.


Feline diabetes is becoming more common: one in 200 cats has it. Most are overweight, male, and between ages 8 and 13. Early symptoms include excessive drinking and urinating; later you may notice diminished appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. It’s easily diagnosed with a simple blood or urine test but without early treatment serious complications like ketoacidosis, dehydration, liver disease, and bladder infections are likely. You don’t want to gamble with diabetes.


Your comment about drug companies, well, them’s fightin’ words. I whole heartedly agree-with a qualifier. Just a few years ago, when insulin was in common use in humans, it was cheap. There’s a much smaller market for the new, and more effective, feline insulin that your cat takes. I suggest that you ask your veterinarian about changing your kitty to a high protein, low carbohydrate food like Hills m/d or Purina DM. A blood sugar-lowering tablet called glipizide may also help eliminate insulin injections.


New and better drugs, and our free market economy, can cause hardship. But pet owners can reduce the risk of diabetes, joint pain, and other miseries by keeping their cats trim. It’s a rare cat who has any business weighing more than 10 pounds. Feeding canned kitten food to healthy cats of all ages provides the best nutritional balance. Corpulent kitties who snack all day from that ever present bowl of dry food have poor self image and a stunted social life. Fat felines are not cat magnets.