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Once-a-day insulin subsidised for NZ patients

Once-a-day insulin subsidised for NZ patients

A type of insulin for people with diabetes that requires only one injection a day will be funded from 1 July, PHARMAC announced today.

Insulin glargine (Lantus) is a long-acting type of insulin that will be funded for people who have the most difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels. This is an advancement for diabetes patients, as insulin glargine can reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia for some patients.

PHARMAC’s Chief Executive Wayne McNee says funding of a true long-acting insulin is a step forward for the subsidised treatment of diabetes. About 30,000 New Zealanders with diabetes use insulin, either on its own or in combination with other diabetes treatments.

“This decision extends the range of subsidised treatments for New Zealanders with diabetes,” Wayne McNee says.

“Most people achieve glycaemic control with the insulins that are currently funded, and we currently spend about $19 million per year on diabetes treatments, with a further $20 million spent on test strips.”

“However, we are aware that there is a group of patients who could benefit from a longer-acting product, so we are pleased to make an investment that extends funding to insulin glargine.”

Wayne McNee says the criteria for subsidising insulin glargine would see about 3200 patients using the treatment within three years. This would represent about 10% of all people currently using insulin.

PHARMAC estimates that insulin glargine will see further expenditure of more than $5 million over the next five years.


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