The company which makes beef (bovine) insulin has announced the product will be discontinued.
Wockhardt UK says the decision is due to worldwide unavailability of the raw materials to make beef insulin, and it has been left with “no chance but to discontinue the Hypurin Bovine insulin range”. Wockhardt stressed that pork insulin will still be available.
People with diabetes who use Hypurin BOVINE insulin have been urged to see their doctor as soon as possible so appropriate changes can be made to their insulin therapy.
The company estimates that Hypurin Bovine Isophane 3ml cartridges could expire by December 2017, but 10ml vials of Hypurin Bovine PZI might not expire until August 2019.
Jenny Hirst, co-chair of the Independent Diabetes Trust (IDDT), which was set up to fight for continued use of animal insulin, has penned a letter to all its members regarding the issue.
She said: “We have always promised that we would let our members using insulin know as soon as we had any news on future supplies, hence this letter.
“In fact, only a very small number of people are using beef insulin and we are thankful that Wockhardt has continued manufacture for this very small market.
“They apologise for what this means to people using beef insulin but the situation is beyond their control, indeed, beyond anyone’s control.”
She noted that following a meeting with Wockhardt UK’s managing director, supplies of Hypurin PORCINE, or pork insulin, are secure for years to come.
“Again I stress that this discontinuation only affects beef insulin, so people taking pork insulin or any of the genetically engineered human and analogue insulins need have no fears about supplies.”
Wockhardt UK will be posting monthly updates about the discontinuation of beef insulin on their website.

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