Truly, I’m not ALWAYS cranky. But there are some things that spin up my Vex-o-meter. If you are a diabetic – T1 or T2 who uses insulin – you’ll grok this immediately.
I’m happy any time the FDA turns its turns its attention to generics with an eye toward increasing competition, simply because eventually that will lead to moving faster with biosimilars, and eventually maybe this will mean more attention to biosimilar insulin, which in turn might give us some relief from the astronomical price of “brand name” insulin.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a 100 percent (or close) fan of Lilly, Novo and Sanofi for delivering us some very cool insulins over the past few decades. Would you really like to go back to the days of “R” insulin, which was “Rapid” only if you ignored the 30 minute – plus or minus – variance in time to peak action? But the truly fast (and consistent) insulins – lispro and aspart – have been around since 1996. Their attributes have scarcely changed, yet they are what, . . . triple (quadruple) the price they were when they first came out? C’mon, those pen injection devices can’t cost THAT much.
For Type 1’s, this isn’t an optional exercise. We didn’t choose to become diabetic, but we’re kind of stuck with it. And, either we take insulin on a regular, daily basis, or we go the way of diabetics in pre-Banting era . . . that is, once you were diagnosed, it was a death sentence.
So, would I like to see FDA promote more competition? Yes. And good for you, Scott Gottlieb, for putting this on the agenda.
Would I like to see someone develop a biosimilar of the fast-acting insulin? Yes. Anything that drives the price down (assuming safety equivalence, of course) would be welcome for those of us who inject multiple times a day (or must change their pump sets regularly).
Didn’t think this would be the content of my first post, but it’s been on my mind and it’s always timely.