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Insulin supplies

  • 1.  Insulin supplies

    Posted 05-06-2024 13:53

    I have been on Humalog insulin for at least 10 years probably a more and have just been informed by my local chemist that they DO NOT expect supplies until July if then! Hoping that someone can enlighten me as to the cause or has Humalog been discontinued?

    Thankfully been reading about Diabetic burn-out, great article. I feel that supply issues are now increasing contributor to burn-out. Up until recently supply has never been a problem. No doubt like myself you have several weeks supply of your life preserving medication as well as all the other equipment that is required each day as a T1D to improve your life.  Would be interested to read what other T1D would consider sufficient supplies.



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    Graham
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  • 2.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 06-06-2024 08:32

    Hello Graham

    Having a Google it seems that the shortage of Humalog (Lispro) is affecting people around the world and the only reason that I can see offered by Eli Lilly is a "manufacturing" issue. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has a notice on its website saying that the Supply Impact Dates are from 03 May 2024 to 30 Sep 2024 for HUMALOG insulin lispro 100 IU/mL injection multidose vial... see https://apps.tga.gov.au/Prod/msi/Search/Details/insulin-lispro.

    I changed from Humaloug to Fiasp a few years ago and, along with a CGM, found a great improvement in my HbA1c. Personally, after the recent Novo Fiasp debacle, the flakey global supply chains and political and economic instability and manipulation, I try to keep a year's worth of insulin (Fiasp and Opsulin) in stock in two separate fridges - the use-by dates are the limiting factor in how much you can reasonably stockpile. I also keep about a year's supply of pen needle caps, a couple of spare insulin pens for both types of insulin and a current insulin supply script.

    It would be nice if Diabetes Australia could be a little more proactive in keeping its members and the public informed about ongoing supply problems and their causes. I found their performance during the withdrawal of Fiasp from the PBS last year to be less than forthcoming with information. Surely warning bulletins and update emails to members couldn't be that difficult, perhaps an opt-in email bulletin for updates, alerts and news specifically relating to things like supply shortages etc.

    Related but not specifically about  Humalog, this article came up - Big Pharma's focus on profit is behind medicine shortages, superbug threat

     

     



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    David B.
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  • 3.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 06-06-2024 18:29

    Hi David,

    Your concerns over Humalog and the urging of Diabetes Australia to be our advocate on the issue of maintaining insulin in the Australian market needs to be supported by all of us.  Humalog, Fiasp and now maybe Levemir, having problems with supply combined with limited communication makes vulnerable type one diabetics highly stressful. 

    I am feeling highly vulnerable in terms of my long acting insulin Levimir after reading about its demise in the US and need reassurance of its continued supply in the Australian market. 

    I have attached the US article below in which many of the comments are also highly concerning. 
    "The Levemir situation shines a light on the high-stakes corporate decisions over prescription drugs, and their impact on patients. Patient advocates say that Novo Nordisk is opting to bolster its weight loss drugs over insulin products, while making sure that its long-acting insulins avoid generic competition. "Taking off an insulin product that has already been on the market and has users," said Shaina Kasper, policy and advocacy director for diabetes advocacy group T1International, who herself takes Levemir, "in favor of this drug that has a significantly higher profit margin, is putting profits over patients' lives."

    https://prospect.org/health/2024-03-14-novo-nordisk-discontinues-insulin-levemir/



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    Michael
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  • 4.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 07-06-2024 14:01

    Many thanks to those that have responded. The initial shock that the insulin that allows me to LIVE was in short supply has subsided and now been advised of a similar product that I am confident will provide a satisfactory replacement. 



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    Graham
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  • 5.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 12-06-2024 11:58

    Hi David  and Community team

    Many thanks for an excellent article on the world wide trend of multi national pharmaceuticals manipulating supplies of insulin and other medications, leaving chronically ill diabetic patients in turmoil.
    It should always be emphasised that three quarters of our insulin supplies derives from only 2  monolithic companies. 


    It's simply not good enough that our members are storing a one years supply of Humalog in their fridge out of supply concerns. Not good enough that members and diabetics throughout Australia were in fear when Fiasp was taken off the shelves due to a price conflict. Not good enough that there has been no reassurances by Novo Nordisk of Levimir remaining in Australia.  Do they not realise that vulnerable diabetics can read what is happening to their medications in the USA!

    Diabetes Australia, is it too much to ask that Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly treat their consumers and vulnerable diabetics with compassion, respect and communicate clearly their intentions in the supply of essential insulin in Australia? 
    There has been over the last year enough member comments about  "fear of insulin supplies" to write an excellent article in the Diabetes Australia  publications.
     Finally, both the TGA and these monopolistic  multinational pharmaceutical companies need to drastically lift their game.   



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    Michael
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  • 6.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 08-06-2024 09:29

    Thanks for the article on Humalog supply.

    only a few weeks ago i picked up my supply of Humalog, no problem, i had surplus Lantus & Humalog i sent to Diabetes 4Life to be sent oseas to wherever its needed, i  did not know of any short supply in Australia. The use by date was looming so i thought best to send where it can be used before expiring.

    if Humalog supply is disrupted then i will have to try some other brand.

    all the best



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    Tim
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  • 7.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 13-06-2024 20:16

    One thing that surprises me is that there seems to be only one quantity of insulin available on the PBS: 5 boxes of 5 pens/penfills. For me, being on a pump, I get Levemir as a backup in case my pump stops working. I definitely do not need 25 penfills. I'd really like to see that the PBS offered smaller quantities, which may help to reduce some of the demand on this insulin.



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    Christopher
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  • 8.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 30 days ago

    That is so true for me too Christopher. So much wasted levemir. I imagine at maximum I would need 5 rather than 25 pens or vials. 



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    Esther
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  • 9.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 30 days ago

    Hi Christopher 

    I go to a Terry White chemist and they are more than happy to dispense both my Apidra and Levemir pens one box at a time.   I have been doing this for over ten years.  I just don't have enough room in my fridge for 10 boxes of insulin.  The chemist dispenses the insulin  from one to five, typed on each box and has a computer record of the order number.  It's not that difficult. See dispensing label on packet of five pens below  



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    Michael
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  • 10.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 29 days ago

    As the supply of 5X5 is paid to pharmacists if they give customers one box of 5, they would have a bonus of 4 boxes of Insulin. We diabetics must cost the government a huge amount. To save 4 units of insulin every injection, I reuse my needles, which otherwise need 4 units for the air gap you have to fill with a new needle. Insulins are a brilliant medicine so let's save what we can to lower our massive pharmaceutical bill & hopefully the Government will make 5 boxes optional. What about it, Minister for Health?



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    Paul D
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  • 11.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 29 days ago

    Hi Paul 

    My pharmacist at Terry White gives me one packet of five Apidra that I have already paid for in advance.  He keeps the other fully paid four packets in his own fridge.  He started this way of distributing my insulin after I discussed with him my problems of storing 10 packets of both levemir and Apidra.  It is very kind of him to have such a wonderful community service which could be replicated by other chemists to assist diabetics with storage concerns.  



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    Michael
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  • 12.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 23 days ago

    I only started a small dose insulin last year ( LADA stage several  years prior) and my endocrinologist  prescribed one box  with repeats of each insulin because of the wastage issue. 



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    Elizabeth
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  • 13.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi this is wonderful news.  I usually fill my subscription of Novorapid and Levemir and end up with 10 boxes of insulin. 
    I'll look into on taking 2 boxes, one of each, and deferring the rest as needed.
    John 





  • 14.  RE: Insulin supplies

    Posted 23 days ago

    Hi Christopher 

    if you are only after a small quantity and want to avoid waste from expiry perhaps look at Diabetic Crayons Australia on Facebook. 



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    Deborah
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