US regulators need to take action on Wednesday to make cheaper near-copies of brand-name insulin readily available in drugstores.
Doctors need to prescribe a drug called biosimilars or use it as a replacement for more expensive brands of insulin.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Semgle, the first biosimilar approved as a replacement for Lantus, a widely used fast-acting insulin.
Biosimilars are not the same as generic drugs. Unlike generic drugs, which share the same chemical composition as their more expensive brand name counterparts, biosimilars are “very similar” duplicates. The FDA is Viatris Inc. I agreed that Semglee is compatible with Lantus.
Can be replaced automatically
The move on Wednesday allows pharmacists to automatically replace cheaper versions when prescribing, just like generics of other types of drugs.
This is the first FDA approval of an “exchangeable” biosimilar that is close to a copy of an injected biopharmaceutical produced in living cells. It could save millions of dollars a year in diabetics and health insurance and encourage other pharmaceutical companies to create more biosimilar medicines. Health data company IQVIA predicts that increasing biosimilar use between 2020 and 2024 will save more than $ 100 billion in the United States.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, FDA’s deputy commissioner, said in a statement, “Biosimilar-compatible biosimilar products can significantly reduce medical costs, so insulin is used daily to treat diabetes. Today is an important day for those who use it. “
Depending on the pharmacy, the Semglee injector pen costs about $ 150 to $ 190 without insurance on a regular monthly supply, but from $ 340 to $ 520 on the same Lantus supply.
The price of insulin isMakes the drug affordable for some people with diabetes.Rising costs have been criticized by lawmakers and patients alike, and some diabetics have them. Or make other dangerous decisions due to the issues that give it.
Walmart on TuesdayFor analog insulin at prices up to 75% below the cost of competing products.
Insulin has been used as a drug for about a century, but there is no generic version of it. Only three manufacturers, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, dominate 99% of the market. Wal-Mart said its branded insulin is manufactured by Novo Nordisk.
AimeePichee contributed to this report.
The FDA approves the use of biosimilar insulin as an automated replacement for expensive brand names
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