FDA Approves Generic Swap for Brand Name Insulin - Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc.
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FDA Approves Generic Swap for Brand Name Insulin

FDA Approves Generic Swap for Brand Name Insulin

Good news came at the end of July 2021 for diabetic patients who are struggling to afford insulin. On July 28, 2021, FDA regulators took action to make a cheaper, near-duplicate of brand-name insulin more accessible. 

This approval could save diabetic patients and health plans millions each year. It could also encourage drug companies to create more biosimilar meds. Biosimilar is the term used for medicines that are near-duplicates of a brand-name drug. Diabetic patients who want to swap to the generic form of insulin must ask their provider to either specifically prescribe the biosimilar or okay a substitution for the brand-name insulin.

FDA approval for the new generic insulin came after the administration agreed that Viatris’ Semglee is interchangeable with Lantus, a fast-acting brand-name insulin. The generic Semglee was launched in the summer of 2020 after Mylan, N.V. merged with another company to form Viatris in December 2019. 

Why Generic Insulin Hasn’t Been Widely Available in the US

Research from health data company, IQVIA, projects that US savings from increasing the use of biosimilars will top $100 billion by 2024. So why aren’t more generic biosimilars already available in the US? Red tape, lengthy patents, and pushback from brand-name drug companies are mostly to blame for the limited sales of biosimilars. 

Despite delays, 29 biosimilars have been approved by the FDA including biosimilars for brand-name cancer and immune disorder drugs. Only 20 of those 29 are actually sold here at this time. 

What You Can Do to Help Increase Biosimilar Sales

As a patient, you have more power to enact change than you might think. If you are a diabetic patient using Lantus simply ask your prescriber to swap your medicine for the generic Semglee. The more patients who switch to the generic form, the more likely it is that other drug companies will begin offering more generic versions of costly brand-name meds.

The approval of Semglee as a swap for the brand-name insulin could change the lives of many diabetic patients who are not taking the proper amount of insulin they need each day in order to preserve their costly medicine. The cost of Semglee compared to the brand-name Lantus is less than half. Semglee will run around $150-$190 without insurance for a month’s supply while Lantus runs between $340-$520 a month. 

Are you a diabetic patient struggling to afford your insulin? Your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider can help by swapping your brand-name medicine for the new generic form. For more information or to request an appointment, click here.

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