A Local Trial Could Lead to an Oral Diabetes Medication

A new medicine from Oramed might rid diabetes treatment of needles for the 30 million Americans who have the disease. The treatment may be a way to avoid the pain and fear that accompany injections while more efficiently delivering the medication.

Nadav Kidron, the CEO of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, is leading a team who is working on this new delivery method. FDA trials in Dallas and around the country may lead to the end of using needles in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Oral delivery of the medication is not only less painful, but more efficient, Kidron says. It is a safer way to deliver insulin because it allows it to go straight to the liver rather than the bloodstream. When insulin goes into the bloodstream, Kidron says, only a fraction actually gets to the liver where it needs to be.

Kidron highlights a 2013 study by the World Health Organization that shows that only half of people in developed countries follow doctor’s orders on their medications, and that diabetes was the second leading cause of hospitalization caused by non-adherence. Pairing the WHO study with a Gallup poll that says Americans’ sixth largest fear is that of needles, Kidron is confident that Oramed can make an impact for millions of diabetes sufferers. “Why subject people with diabetes to injecting themselves if we can deliver an alternative that is not only more convenient and easier to consume, but is actually proving to be more effective?” he said via release.

“Failure to adhere to medication is particularly an issue among people with Type 2 diabetes, because – unlike children with Type 1 diabetes who develop the habit of taking their insulin as instructed at a very young age – they tend to be older and have a harder time adapting to new routines,” he said via release. “For some Type 2 diabetics, add to that simply fearing the pain or discomfort of administering insulin shots to themselves, and you have an additional barrier to care.”

The results of the nationwide trials should be announced next year.