Diabetes patients in the United Kingdom can now access Abasaglar, a new form of insulin glargine, after it was launched last week.
Abasaglar (previously known as Abasria) is biosimilar to Sanofi’s Lantus as it has the same active ingredient, insulin glargine. Abasaglar has been developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim and will directly compete against Sanofi’s Lantus. Biosimilars are officially approved products which are highly similar to other medicines.
What is Abasaglar?
Abasaglar, which was approved in Europe in September 2014, is a once-daily injectable drug that can increase long-lasting control of blood glucose levels. It is taken once daily at the same time of each day and will be available as a 100 units/mL solution.
The drug is a long-acting insulin analogue and clinical trials show it have a similar profile to Lantus with duration of to 24 hours. Side effects and efficacy have also shown to be approximately equal to Lantus.
Reports suggest that Abasaglar will be approximately 25 per cent cheaper for the NHS than Lantus or Toujeo.
Abasaglar can treat adults, adolescents and children aged two and older, while it can be administered alongside oral medication in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The drug became the first insulin treatment to be accepted through the European Medicine Agency’s biosimilar pathway, and its developers are confident that biosimilars could lead to increased treatment options for diabetes.
A spokesperson for Lilly said: “Biosimilars will help expand available therapeutic options to address individual patient needs and should provide additional value beyond cost savings. We anticipate they will be priced competitively as part of a broad continuum of treatment options.”

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