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Manufactured insulin, 'Iletin', United States, 1923

Sold under the trade name ‘Iletin’, this was the first commercially available insulin product for people with diabetes, available from 1923 onwards. Eli Lilly, who made this product, worked with Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1971), the Canadian researchers who first isolated insulin in 1921. Banting and Best found that pig insulin was similar to human insulin. Pig pancreases were ground up in large numbers to extract insulin.

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    Glossary: bottle

    Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

    Glossary: pancreas

    No description.

    Glossary: ampoule

    A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.

    Glossary: diabetes

    This term refers to any form of metabolic disorder characterized by extreme thirst and excess urine production.

    Glossary: insulin

    A hormone that causes the body's cells to take up glucose from the blood. (Diabetes is the loss of control of the body's levels of insulin.)

    Glossary: materia medica

    A Latin medical term sometimes used to refer to medical substances.