Sunday, 14 March 2010

Cornish Clotted Insulin


TV dramas vary in their respect for accuracy when including a diabetes storyline, which is a shame as the general public’s knowledge of the correct facts about the disease and its treatment is further confused by this lacksadaisical approach. Recently, there was an episode of the BBC hospital drama ‘Casualty’ which involved a young diabetic girl who was involved in a boating accident. We learned that the girl had strict moral principles and refused to be treated with any insulin that had been tested on animals. To my knowledge, this excludes all insulin currently available, unless somewhere there is a type that has only ever been tested on humans (or is in fact acquired directly from other humans!)

Animal insulin is obtained from the pancreases of slaughtered animals, and the synthetic stuff has all undergone animal trials before being approved for human use (although I could be wrong about that). So, what did the girl use instead? Cornish insulin of course! Apparently, the only stockist of her particular type was Jacob’s Pharmacy in Penzance, Cornwall – quite a distance from the hospital she now found herself in. As a result, a debate ensued whether to override her principles and give her a more readily available kind. Eventually, after she had developed diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and fallen promptly into a diabetic coma, an enterprising young doctor administered some ‘common’ insulin and hey presto! she recovered!

Clearly, Jacob’s Cornish Insulin is not a well–known alternative, and must therefore be a secret, family preparation that is not widely publicised, and most probably based on the renowned Cornish ice cream – that delicious, golden yellow, creamy concoction that has delighted both young and old for decades…

Now, there’s Novo and Aventis and Eli Lilley too,
All pharmaceutical giants that take care of me and you,
But have you heard of Jacob’s? The Chemist of Penzance?
He’s the only known supplier of a remarkable advance!

For, once we all thought insulin was porcine or bovine,
But Jacob’s stocks a product that is utterly divine!
If you’re allergic to synthetic, and against the animal kind,
Then there’s only one type you can use, though it may not spring to mind!

Cornish clotted insulin! An ice cream-based solution!
In the field of diabetes treatment it’s a total revolution!
In seconds it will bring you round from ketoacidosis,
So ask for Cornish insulin at your Type 1 diagnosis!

It’s only stocked at Jacob’s, it’s the only place on Earth –
An insulin monopoly, goodness knows what it is worth!
But Jacob’s secret recipe, handed down throughout the ages
Keeps the people of Penzance employed on very decent wages!

Now Jacob has some other plans, still on a dairy theme,
For a fudge-based sulphonylurea that involves some clotted cream,
And a Cornish pastie statin to keep cholesterol low,
And a pilchard source of omega-3, caught fresh in Polperro!

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