GPs warned of potential insulin shortages

Sanofi has announced a possible supply shortage of 3ml cartridges and pre-filled pens of Insuman Basal and Insuman Comb 25, as a result of manufacturing issues.

Patients switched from Insuman may require more frequent blood glucose monitoring and insulin dose adjustments in order to maintain glycaemic control.
Patients switched from Insuman may require more frequent blood glucose monitoring and insulin dose adjustments in order to maintain glycaemic control.

The presentations affected by the shortage are:

  • Insuman Basal cartridge
  • Insuman Comb 25 cartridge
  • Insuman Basal Solostar pre-filled pen
  • Insuman Comb 25 Solostar pre-filled pen.

In a letter to healthcare professionals, Sanofi recommends that patients who are unable to obtain these products be switched to an alternative human insulin preparation.

Alternative preparations

Alternative human insulins for patients on Insuman Basal are Humulin I and Insulatard. This switch may require minimal or no dose adjustment.

Patients treated with Insuman Comb 25 can be switched to Humulin M3. This patient group may require dose adjustment as the ratio of rapid/basal insulin in Humulin M3 is slightly different to that in Insuman Comb 25 (30% rapid insulin instead of 25%).

Further information
Insuman Basal Summary of Product Characteristics
Insuman Comb 25 Summary of Product Characteristics
Manufacturer: Sanofi

Close monitoring of blood glucose levels and training on how to use the new delivery device is recommended when switching.

Prescribers can call the Insuman Emergency Line on 0800 281973 to discuss individual cases where switching may not be appropriate.

Supply is expected to return to normal in July 2016.

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