Interesting post on the continued discontinuations of certain insulin products:
Back in July, we reported on Eli Lilly's announcement that they would be discontinuing production of Iletin II, the last remaining animal-based insulin on the U.S. market, in addition to its human lente and ultralente insulins - leaving some patients faced with tough treatment decisions.
Overseas, UK residents who are dependant on insulin are facing similar hard choices. Novo Nordisk has now discontinued several genetically modified (or GM) human insulins, including the pen form of its Actrapid GM product. The move follows a 2004 Eli Lilly UK withdrawal of several human GM insulins. As of October, when the Novo withdrawal is complete, many Brits will be forced to switch to insulin analogs.
The Insulin Dependent
Diabetes Trust has been a vocal opponent of the narrowing of insulin options based on what the IDDT calls a "commercial decision," and what they consider insufficient study of the potential adverse effects of insulin analogs. Diabetes UK Health Care and Policy Director Simon O'Neill also voiced concern at the Novo withdrawal, stating that "this reduces patient choice and could cause some people problems with managing their diabetes. Changing insulin to a newer version is not like trading in a car."
There's no denying new insulin forms are better than older ones. But like most things that are new and better, they also cost more money. Personally, I was one of the last people in my county to get off the old pork and beef insulins. Switching to human insulin cost me 25% more.