Insulin Inhaler Now Available In East Texas

A life changing treatment for diabetics is now available in East Texas.  Almost 40,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in this area. The insulin inhaler was approved by the FDA in January and is now at most of our local pharmacies.

We found out what this means for one local woman.   Juli Myers is 44 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 years ago.

"When Dr. Robinson told me I was going to have to take shots and he gave my the prescription I didn't take them because I didn't want to take a shot," says Juli.

However, she eventually did have to learn how to give herself 4 shots a day.

"I take one with each meal and one at bedtime.  Even though it's been 4 years there is still a squeamishness.  I wished there was any other way to take it," says Juli.

Thankfully after more than 8 decades, science is now giving diabetics a new option... the Exubera insulin inhaler. The insulin is now in a powder form.  Dr. Brian Robinson with Trinity Clinic says it's a much better option for patients, like Juli.

"I think it will improve compliance and patients will be more willing to take insulin more willing to take the next step to insulin therapy.  If they know that shots are not something that they are going everyday.  Needles are of course uncomfortable and cumbersome, especially if you are a type 1 diabetic and your life depends on taking 4 shots everyday.  This gives patients the opportunity to maintain quality of life on one shot and then 3 inhalations with their meals," says Dr. Brian Robinson with Trinity Clinic Endocrinology.

After using the inhaler, Juli tells us what she thinks about it.

"It was okay, it was better than a shot.   I won't dread taking my insulin as much," says Juli.

Now, Juli can fold up the inhaler and take it with her giving her a lot more freedom and less pain.

Dr. Robinson says, for some type 2 diabetics, the insulin inhaler can eliminate the need of insulin shots completely. The cost of the new drug is a little more expensive than the tradition insulin but is covered by most insurance companies. We called several Tyler pharmacies today and most said they have it in stock or can order it.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.