Cardiologist hopes combination medication can prevent MIs, save lives

Harry Selker, MD, a cardiologist, is talking with the FDA about conducting a trial to test the effectiveness of glucagon, insulin and potassium (GIK) in acute coronary emergencies, NPR reports.

Although GIK was effective at preventing MIs in animals more than 50 years ago, the drugs have not kept people from having MIs in studies. However, a study that Selker helped design in 2012 found that people who appeared to be suffering an MI and were given GIK were less likely to suffer cardiac arrest or death in the hospital compared with those who were given a placebo.

After the results were published, Selker told NPR that he spoke with pharmaceutical companies about developing GIK, but they were not interested. He hopes that the new trial will begin early next year and will help GIK become available to help people suffering from MIs. For now, he is working with policy experts, modelers and others who see the benefits of GIK.

“If you’re going to try to improve things, you have to work on all angles, you have to work in all disciplines,” Selker told NPR. “You can’t just work in biology; that would never get you anywhere.”

Read the full NPR article below: