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Chemist has run out of basal insulin and recommendations.

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Wurst, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is the first time this has happened to me in almost 4 years, basically I have been told that I cannot order any Insuman basal until the end of Feb 2016. With only 1.5 pens left I am in a bit of a flap. I have contacted every chemist in a 20 km area to see if they have any sitting in their fridges and so far no-one has anything.

    It is looking highly likely that I will have to change basal for this period as I will have no other option. I have only ever used Insuman basal and am perfectly happy with it so I am not overly pleased with this development.

    Can anyone with experience of several basal insulin's recommend me something that is similar to Insuman. I've heard swapping basal insulin's can be quite traumatic so any tips on how to do so would be very useful.
     
  2. LucySW

    LucySW LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I think Insulatard is pretty similar. It's also NPH. Read it up?
     
  3. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wurst, that's very bad of your GP not to have sorted this out already for you as the problem has existed for a little while now.
    I found this info for you http://iddt.org/news/insuman-shortages.

    Insuman shortages
    Insuman Basal, Comb 25 cartridges and prefilled pens are likely to be in short supply for the next eight months, according to the manufacturers Sanofi. These insulins are used by nearly 50,000 people in the UK.

    Although there will be some stock in the supply chain, NHS health professionals have been told that by Sanofi that would be a ‘possible supply shortage in the United Kingdom of some Insuman presentations (recombinant human insulin) from 1 December 2015 due to limited capacity at the manufacturing site and that supply is expected to return to normal in July 2016’. They warn that replacement with alternative insulin formulations is needed to avoid hyperglycaemia and serious complications.

    The four specific products affected are:

    • Insuman Basal 100 IU/mL and Insuman Comb 25 100 IU/mL cartridges
    • Insuman Basal Solostar 100 IU/mL and Insuman Comb 25 Solostar pre-filled pens.
    The nearest alternative insulins are as follows:

    • For patients on Insuman Basal preparations the alternative human insulins are Humulin I and Insulatard,
    • For those on Comb 25 products can be switched to Humulin M3.
    Sanofi have said that it is difficult to estimate how many people will be affected but GP leaders have said that people cannot run out of insulin so GP practices need to get on and switch patients to an alternative insulin. If you are using these insulins, you need to discuss alternatives with your GPO practice.
     
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  4. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies all , Insulatard looks the best bet having briefly read up on the subject. Let's hope it's available :-0

    I saw a similar bulletin (http://iddt.org/news/insuman-shortages.) but it was only stating the shortages could be Poland/Bulgaria not the UK or Germany (where I live).

    I'll see what my Doctor recommends when she replies (hopefully tomorrow).
     
  5. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. The default Basal NICE now recommends is Levemir which many of us take; Lantus is also very common. Unless Insuman was originally prescribed for a particular reason, then a move to, say, Levemir shouldn't cause problems but obviously the GP/DN would need to consider options and change the script.
     
  6. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've found a chemist that has some Insuman still in stock supposedly. I'll know for sure when I go tomorrow.
     
  7. sgc

    sgc Type 1 · Member

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    Insulins seem to have supply problems when more money can be made by selling them overseas rather to the UK market. My pharmacist is well informed about drug shortages. I tried Lantus and Levemir when they first arrived I thought being new they would be better! I may be a bit slow but after one caused me problems by not working very effectively I then realised that I was allergic to both. I had large , painful , red lumps like horse-fly bites at each injection site. The pain was intense and lasted some days. I visited my hospital and a Diabetes Nurse suggested Insulatard For a number of years now it has proved very reliable and I like it. You can split it over a number of doses - one at night, one in the morning etc. I find that is only necessary if I think my blood sugar may go lower than I want during the night. I have it in 300 iu Penfill cartriges. I use a NOVOPEN 5. I hope that helps.
     
  8. JDElliott

    JDElliott Type 2 · Newbie

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    I had to recently swap from the Insuman Comb 25 pen to the Humulin M3 pen as we were told no supplies until July 2016. My diabetic nurse just said I may need slightly less as the Insuman is a 25/75 ratio and the Humulin is a 30/70 ratio. I changed 2 days ago and dropped my morning dose by 2 units and left the evening as it was, and all seems OK.
     
  9. Scouser58

    Scouser58 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello to all,,,,,to all who are having this problem with their insulin,,,,the time it is reported to take before supply is renewed,,,is so unbelievable,,,,, they make medication, many people use it and depend on it,,,then none to be had for vast parts of the country,,,,so not right to force people to change medications,,,and all that it entails,,,,,totally unwanted by all users,,,,ttfn from Karen.
     
  10. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was fortunate enough to find a packet of 10 Insuman basal pens in a pharmacy ~ 20 miles from my town. That should last until the drought is over (end of February I've heard). My doctor had prescribed me Lily basal , which I've never heard of and anyway don't need to change now.

    If there any further problems with Insuman supply then I'll definitely change permanently to Insulatard, which appears to be a close match.
     
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  11. Lovely lady

    Lovely lady Type 2 · Newbie

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    I am on Insuman Basal Solostar 100 IU/ml, have been using this for the pass three to four years. I picked up my repeat prescription last week was told that one item is owing. I went to my doctors to get the one missing item which is my pen one missing out of box.
    To be told by pharmacy that this one in now not available as not manufacturing it any more.it has taken along time to get the right insulin for my body as I'm allergic to quite a few things and not told that gps new but didn't tell me the patient that I will have to change. Only got four pens left. I am not impressed WHY!!!! Aren't the patients notified earlier than this to be told no more of this Insulin EVER
    Lovely lady posted for the first time
     
  12. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Welcome @lovelylady :)

    Sorry to hear about your problems. Has any alternative been suggested to you?
     
  13. Scouser58

    Scouser58 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @lovelylady,,,,I would of thought that your pharmacist would have informed you of this problem sooner,,as they get the alerts as soon as they are announced.
    Your GP now has to find from the medications access screens they have,,what is being offered as the best alternative insulin,,,,even the pharmacist could give you a few ideas,,,,get your gp on the case very quickly.

    Is there anybody on this forum,who has also had this problem,,and what have they found out? There must some information out there to give you the indication as why this is happening,,,is it lack of demand?,,is it the cost?,,, Medication manufacturers don't just stop dead a production,,they give out advance warning, of the stoppage,,,so why have you only just been informed of the major development to your medication? Good luck in your delving into the finding out of what is next,,,,ttfn from Karen.
     
  14. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  15. Scouser58

    Scouser58 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,,,,well it seems as though the expected shortage,,has become a bigger one,,,this is very distressing for the users of this brand,,,and there should be some investigation into the on going problems of supply,,,remembering that some users can only tolerate this brand,,,,this need to be done,,,,,ttfn from Karen.
     
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