Innovations and Inaugurations: Warren Harding

Innovations and Inaugurations: Warren Harding

01.15.13 | By

When Warren Harding took office as the 29th President of the United States in 1921, the outlook for diabetes patients was grim. A diagnosis at that time meant one could only expect to live a few more years - and for children, often less than that. Fortunately, after insulin was discovered and commercialized in the first few years of President Harding's term, all of that changed.

Insulin: A Home Run

In the summer of 1921, Dr. Frederick Banting and a medical student named Charles Best, working under Professor J.R.R. Macleod at the University of Toronto, managed to extract a substance they termed "isletin." Later renamed insulin, the compound was ready for human testing in 1922. It was spectacularly successful - reviving late term, often comatose diabetic patients who had been beyond hope. By 1923, a pharmaceutical research company was mass-producing insulin, providing millions of diabetes patients with a medicine that controlled their disease, ultimately saving their lives. That same year, Banting and Macleod also won a well-deserved Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

More Work Remains

Despite the tremendous advances we've made, diabetes is a growing epidemic in our country. It kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. That's why America's biopharmaceutical research companies are committed to finding new and better ways to control and treat diabetes. Be sure to check out our report and related Facebook app for details on the 221 new medicines in development for the disease today.

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