School of

Pharmacy Alum’s Insulin Research Attracts National Attention

Dr. Alan Carter poses with other alumni and the dean

UMKC School of Pharmacy has selected Alan W. Carter (B.S.P. ’79, Pharm.D. ’02) to receive the school’s 2019 Alumni Achievement Award. Carter was honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15.

Portrait of Alan W. Carter, winner of the 2019 Alumni AwardWith more than 35 years of experience in clinical pharmacy management and research, Carter has been an educator, board member and researcher. He is currently the pharmacy director at Aetna Better Health of Kansas and recently gained national attention when his research raised a red flag on problems with the storage of insulin.

Carter spoke about his study.

Q: You received national attention for your study which discovered decreases in the concentration of insulin. Is there more research being done to ensure that insulin maintains its potency from manufacturer to pharmacy?

A: The study results were published online in late December 2017 and became an international discussion very quickly after the Associated Press article was released in late January 2018.

A formal confirmatory study comparing approved methods and our different approach was commissioned by the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and initiated at the University of Florida in August 2018, results pending.

Q: Does this raise any concerns about the efficacy of other medicines that could be losing concentration en route to pharmacies?

A: This could show reason for concern in shipping, handling and storage of any biologic product that needs to have a narrow temperature range for maintaining stability and efficacy. Current FDA stability study guidance may need to be adjusted to better reflect real-world shipping, handling and storage conditions, including in the patient’s home.

Q: What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

A: Learning is a life-long process, and anyone from any walk of life may provide a lesson to be learned. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open for opportunities to explore sources of new knowledge and experience.

Published: Jan 18, 2019