Lantus – Here is the data

Lantus – Here is the data

Given the pounding Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) and other insulin related stocks are taking Diabetologia the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) has published the studies regarding Lantus and a possible link to cancer. You can access the studies and some additional information at

Diabetic Investor will be reviewing all the information over the weekend and will publish a complete review before the markets open on Monday.

What we can say prior to more detailed review of this data is that once again it is the patient with diabetes and the physicians that treat them who will suffer the most. As we noted earlier today the mainstream media will soon be publishing headlines which combine the words insulin usage and cancer. They will not bother to completely vet this information and patients will once again be caused undue stress.

Diabetic Investor cannot express the level of disgust we have as this material should have never been leaked prior to publication. The EASD should be held to a higher standard and should publicly apologize to the entire diabetes community. Ultimately it is their responsibility to insure that information as incendiary as these studies are is protected from coming into the public domain prior to publication. According to their web site “The mission of EASD is to promote excellence in diabetes care through research and education” – Just how a premature release of these studies falls within that mission is anyone’s guess. Sanofi Aventis has every right to question the motives of the EASD for such an irresponsible act.

Sadly the damage is already done here and no apology no matter how sincere can undo it. Did the EASD learn nothing from the Avandia controversy? Have we reached a point where people will do anything to get their names in the newspapers or faces on television? Are they blind to the fact that millions of patients and the physicians who treat them will suffer needlessly from their actions?  

The EASD should have learned that it does no good to issue a statement that says; “EASD emphasises that the studies reported are far from conclusive, but they do indicate the need for further investigation of this issue.” This is as bad as saying a patient should consult with their physician before making any changes to their treatment. Will someone please explain to Diabetic Investor just how the physician is supposed to consult with their patients when they have not had time to analyze the data? Please explain how these same physicians when after reading the studies will effectively communicate with their patients when the basic conclusion is there might be a link between Lantus and cancer?

Patients want direct answers to what they see as a simple question; Does Lantus cause cancer? It’s hardly reassuring when their physician tells them that it might. Patients don’t want to be told that further study is needed; this puts them in an even worse situation. Do they continue taking Lantus and risk cancer or do they opt for a safer route and stop taking insulin? The very idea of cancer is so scary that one could not blame any patient who opts for what they see as the safer option no matter what their physician tells them.

After all that has transpired since the Avandia controversy, when patients stopped taking their medications whether they were on Avandia or something else, over fears of developing cardiovascular problems one just might think that the EASD would be even more vigilant.  This is another very sad day for the millions of patients using insulin, their physicians, Sanofi-Aventis and other insulin companies. Once again these people and organizations will suffer while the culprits who brought on their suffering escape unharmed. This is truly tragic and should not be tolerated.