Profile America: Insulin Lifesaving Medicine


Tuesday, April 5 — One of world’s foremost lifesaving medicines — insulin — became available this month in 1923 for treating diabetes. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is critical in the processing of carbohydrates in the human body. It was first isolated the year before by a Canadian team led by Dr. Frederick Banting at the University of Toronto. The effect was like a miracle. One year, the disease was an automatic death sentence; the next, people who were affected had hopes of living full and productive lives. One of the first beneficiaries was the daughter of U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes. Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing employs around 235,000 people in a $200 billion a year industry in the U.S.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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