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[IP] wall street journal article on new lasette
i hope i am posting correctly... new type of laser lancet looks
promising and could be great... is it a good stock bet as well?
FDA Approves Laser Device That Allows Diabetics to Draw Blood
With Less Pain
By ROCHELLE SHARPE
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration approved the first
medical laser for home use, a device that allows diabetics to
draw blood for glucose tests more conveniently and often with
The Lasette, a small battery-powered machine manufactured by Cell
Robotics International Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., lets patients
make a small puncture in their finger with a laser. The majority
of patients in clinical trials said they had no pain or less pain
drawing blood with the device than with the needle they normally
use, said Travis Lee, the company's vice president of sales and
Some diabetics draw blood five to 10 times a day to closely
monitor their glucose levels, the FDA said. Patients must watch
their levels, which can vary throughout the day according to diet
and exercise, to make sure they are taking the right amount of
insulin to control their disease. Improper glucose levels can
lead to kidney, eye and nerve damage. More than 10 million
Americans suffer from diabetes.
The Lasette, which has been approved for use in doctors' offices
and hospitals for about a year, costs $2,000. Despite the
expense, Mr. Lee predicted that patients would eagerly purchase
the machines for use at home.
As patients have heard about the device during the past year, Mr.
Lee said, "We've had people saying, 'I'll write you a check
today.'" Parents with diabetic children are the most eager, he
said, followed by patients recently diagnosed with diabetes.
Patients will need a prescription from their doctor to get the
device, and will have to get brief lessons on how to use the
"This is not a toy," said Dr. Susan Alpert, director of the FDA's
Office of Device Evaluation.
Patients stick their finger inside the device, which looks like a
small box, and activate the laser, making a small puncture wound.
The finger wound typically is shallower than one produced by a
needle, Dr. Alpert said.
Patients then smear the blood from their finger onto a small test
strip and place that strip in another device, which reads their
Cell Robotics said it had no projections of Lasette sales.
Although the company has had FDA approval to sell the device to
doctors and hospitals, since October 1997, Mr. Lee said the
company has only begun selling them in the past month, and so far
has sold "hundreds" of machines.
Chronimed Inc., a Minneapolis company, is distributing the device
and is alsoworking with Cell Robotics to make a smaller machine
for home use that would be less costly, Mr. Lee said.
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