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Implantable pump, was: RE: [IP] Choose by color?


I think the bottom line is that there is *not* a single solution that will
work equally for all of us. The implantable pump is a good example. MiniMed
states that the pump is not suitable for young children, due to its weight
when filled with insulin. I also wonder how suitable it would be for someone
who has other internal devices - a pacemaker, for example.

I don't think your current choice of pump technology will limit your options
for new technology. The internal pump will still be very new technology,
regardless of which brand you are now using. If it clearly offers better
treatment options for you when it's released, your health care team will
surely be able to make a strong argument for it.

I've been chatting on another list about the implantable pump and different
technologies for the future. Some things are a little confusing. MiniMed's
implantable pump (the 2001 model) uses an insulin which some have stated is
made by a company in Germany called Hoechst. This German company appears to
have some relationship / affiliation with Disetronic, who is headquartered
in Switzerland. Some of the products offered by Disetronic appear to also
have a Hoechst name on the label. Not certain on the details - it's a bit
confusing to trace the links. The links I traced earlier for info on the
insulin now produce no results.

I have misplaced a recent bulletin discussing Disetronic's plans to release
a "peritoneal catheter" later this year (1998). This supposedly will allow
an external pump (just like we use now) to attach to this catheter which in
turn, connects to the portal vein (the vein connecting the pancreas and
liver). This will allow direct delivery of insulin into the liver, where it
is needed. The bulletin described Disetronic's peritoneal catheter delivery
method as much more efficient than the current  "back door approach" of
infusing insulin under the skin, where it takes much longer to reach the
liver. Absorption through the tissue can be erratic, as we all know.
Peritoneal delivery is more rapid and consistent and has the added advantage
of producing fewer hypos.

Another advantage cited for Disetronic's approach is the ability to use
currently available insulin and current pump technology (MiniMed's internal
pump requires U400 insulin).

I'm desperately hoping that someone else out there has heard of this info.
It may have originally been released as part of some stock market type
information - I just can't remember. I'm starting to wonder if I have been
having some wild dreams about this technology. I don't think I'm making it
up ;-)

A cure is still better than fancy new gadgets as far as I'm concerned.
That's what I keep hoping for ;-)

Bob Burnett

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