When it comes to medical breakthroughs of the twentieth century, it can be argued that few feats can boast the global significance of Dr John Macleod, Sir Frederick Banting, Dr Charles Best and Dr James Collip. The discovery of insulin in 1921 revolutionised both the therapy and prognosis of diabetes and has helped millions of diabetics around the world live in relative normalcy.
With no known cure and largely ineffective treatments, the diagnosis of diabetes prior to the discovery of insulin posed grave consequences for anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from the condition. Fortunately, that all changed with the remarkable work of Banting, Macleod et al. as their groundbreaking insulin trials revolutionised the world of medicine and provided salvation for diabetics around the world.
As we mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, The Royal Mint is proud to celebrate this historic achievement with a commemorative UK coin in its honour. This is the first time the discovery of insulin has been celebrated on a UK coin and, featuring a sleek, aesthetic design by Iris De La Torre, it is a worthy and welcome addition to our Innovation in Science series.