Diabetes Canada has been made aware that the only manufacturer, Wockhardt UK, of bovine (beef) insulin is discontinuing the manufacturing of this product. The company advised users of this type of insulin that this decision was beyond their control due to the unavailability of the raw materials. Users will need to change their therapy; they also included a chart with predicted depletion dates.
This announcement can be very troubling and devastating to a person living with diabetes who is managing their disease well with bovine insulin.
Wockhardt UK informed Diabetes Canada that every effort to continue supply for the those that need it for as long as possible was made, although as the demand for bovine insulin is much lower and suppliers have been unable to withstand the decrease in demand due to the costs of the manufacturing process.
Diabetes Canada has also directly brought this issue to the attention of Health Canada to express concern on behalf of Canadians impacted by this news. Health Canada has issued information on this issue here.
Canadians who use bovine insulin are urged to speak with their physician/health-care team to determine the best management and treatment plan and alternative insulin. Porcine (pork) insulin will continue to be available for those who continue using animal insulin. Increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended whenever there are changes to insulin brands or doses.
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