Afrezza: Extreme Storage Challenge

During the early stages of Afrezza’s development, it was claimed that it could go without refrigeration for more than two months. However, the packaging instead says to only store at room temperature for 10 days. This extreme test goes 16x longer than the labelling to see how it still performs.

Since starting on Afrezza I have been wondering if Afrezza really does require refrigeration. As you will see in the video, where I stored the insulin was certainly much warmer than average room temperature.

The blister pack spent 161 days without refrigeration before this test. It was first put in the heated hothouse on August 22nd, and then taken out on December 5th (105 days). After that, it spent 56 days in the hottest room in my house during a typically hot Australian summer.  Melbourne had 20 days above 90° F (32.2° C), and 5 days above 100° F (37.8° C) during the test period.

Unlike the US, summer officially starts in Australia on December 1st. For an official temperature record of Melbourne over this period, visit this Bureau of Meterology page.

To test if Afrezza still worked, I used a can of Australian full strength Coke, (which has sugar as 100% sucrose in Australia). Sucrose and caffeine together make this drink raise glucose levels quickly. A control test using newly-ordered Afrezza stored in the fridge was also conducted (video will be uploaded soon). Basal insulin was the amazing Tresiba, and no food or other insulin had been taken prior to the tests.

Long story short, there was NO decrease in Afrezza’s efficacy after the five months. It worked flawlessly and glucose never left the non-diabetic levels. Glucose started at 4.2 mmol/L (75 mg/dL) and ranged from 3.8 mmol/L (68 mg/dL) to 4.6 mmol/L (83 mg/dL) during the test. I certainly won’t be requesting refrigerated shipping from the US anymore.

The significance of this really can’t be overstated. The Frio insulin cases we use when travelling barely work in tropical humidity. For diabetics who travel frequently, those who live in hot climates, or anyone who doesn’t want a fridge packed full of insulin, this is a game-changer.

Put simply, Afrezza does not need refrigeration and there is no other insulin on the market that can make this claim.

The manufacturer, Mannkind should capitalise on this feature, and submit revised storage conditions for approval. Extended room temperature storage is yet another major point of difference between Afrezza and all other insulins.


PS:  Full length footage of experiment will be uploaded soon.