Biosimilar insulin is a biological copy of an original insulin and there is increasing interest in developing and using them.
Biosimilar insulins are cheaper than original products so they present the NHS with opportunities around availability and cost of care. However, there is lack of awareness among healthcare professionals and people with diabetes about their use.
Diabetes UK has put together this position statement (PDF, 1.1MB) to raise awareness, and to support decision making in prescribing.
- The decision of which insulin is most appropriate should always be made jointly between the person with diabetes and their healthcare professional.
- People who are already established on an insulin and well-controlled should continue with that treatment and not be made to change to a biosimilar
- As with all insulins, biosimilar insulins should be prescribed by their trade name rather than the generic insulin name to ensure that the correct insulin is dispensed
- If people with diabetes choose to switch to a biosimilar insulin, they should be encouraged and supported to monitor their blood glucose more closely to ensure that good control is achieved