New basal insulin released in the UK

Kurt Wood
Tue, 04 Aug 2015
New basal insulin released in the UK
Insulin glargine 300units/ml, a new once-daily basal insulin treatment, has been released in the UK.

The insulin, known as Toujeo, is a new formulation of insulin glargine 100units/mL, also known as Lantus.

Toujeo was evaluated over a series of trials. The researchers found that both insulin Toujeo and Lantus led to similar reductions in HbA1c in patients with type 2 diabetes, but Toujeo led to fewer incidences of hypoglycemia.

Patients with type 1 diabetes saw similar HbA1c reductions after using Toujeo, but no difference in the incidence of hypoglycemia.

The researchers did, however, observe that the glucose-lowering effects of Toujeo were more prolonged than Lantus, with the effect lasting more than 24 hours.

Insulin glargine 300units/mL is manufactured by Sanofi, who note that the transition from once-daily insulin glargine 300units/mL to insulin glargine 100units/mL increased the likelihood of hypoglycemia, particularly during the first week. To people making the switch, Sanofi recommends reducing dosage by 20 per cent, at least for the first week.

"This new basal insulin is an additional treatment option for doctors to help manage [type 2] patients who are not currently able to reach optimal glycemic control," said Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester.

"Hypoglycemia is one of the most frequent adverse events experienced by people treated with insulin and fear of these events can prevent some patients administering appropriate insulin doses and can even lead to discontinuation of treatment. The consequence may be poor blood glucose control and an increase risk of long-term complications."

Toujeo may allow people with type 1 diabetes that are currently using a split dose of Lantus to switch to a single daily dose of Toujeo.

While Toujeo will initially be priced at a similar level to Lantus, Lantus' patent is set to expire soon, and this is expected to result in a drop in price of Lantus or cheaper alternatives to the drug becoming available.

The availability of cheaper alternatives to Toujeo could therefore influence GPs' willingness to prescribe the new drug.
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