Long acting insulin makes the grade

"After a prolonged campaign by Diabetes Australia and our member organisations, I am thrilled to announce that the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing has today informed us that long acting insulin has been approved for inclusion on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)," Diabetes Australia, Executive Director, Brian Conway stated today from the Australian Diabetes Society/Australian Diabetes Educators Association Conference being held on the Gold Coast.

Long acting insulin, with the two commercial names of Lantuse (insulin glargine) and Levemir@ (insulin detemir), has experienced a protracted and difficult progress through the PBS listing process.

Following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and extensive negotiations with the Department of Health and Ageing, agreement has finally been reached that will see the long acting insulin products made available at a reasonable price to people with diabetes who require insulin.

People with diabetes who require insulin are either people with type 1 diabetes in which the person stops making insulin or people with type 2 diabetes who initially have reduced capacity to use available insulin and gradually experience a decrease in the amount of insulin they produce.

"As many people who are dependent on insulin are acutely aware, the benefits of using long acting insulin are significant. Up until now those wishing to utilise this medication have had to pay extremely high prices for the product. This decision is a welcome relief to literally hundreds of thousands of people around the country," Mr Conway said.

"The finer details are yet to be released, but Diabetes Australia encourages those people living with diabetes to discuss this management option with their GP and/or Diabetes Specialist over the coming months."

"This is a real victory for Diabetes Australia, our member organisations and the people with diabetes that we represent. But ultimately this is a really positive step forward in the management of diabetes throughout the country," Mr Conway said.

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Contacts: Peter Little, National President, Diabetes Australia, 61-417-530-981


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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