Study: Prescribing Analog Insulin Not Advised

Doctors routinely prescribe analog insulin as a way of combating type 2 diabetes. Now, new evidence suggests that this practice might be more harmful than beneficial.

Analog insulin was originally developed to copy the effects that naturally-based insulin has on the body. Since it's inception, it has been widely administered by doctors following a very effective marketing campaigns designed to tout its benefits. But now, NICE guidelines recommend that providers switch patients back to human insulin instead of the engineered version as a first-line defense. The major drawback? Cost.

The study looked at information from the 2000-2009 period. What researchers discovered was that analog insulin cost considerably more than human insulin. In fact, analog was 47 percent more expensive. Over the ten-year period, that equates to a total cost for analog insulin of $625 million.

The author of the study, Craig Currie, commented on the differences between the two forms of insulin. Currie is form the School of Medicine at Cardiff University.

“While it has been show that insulin analogs are associated with reduced weight gain, less hypoglycemia (particularly nocturnal), improved lowering of postprandial glucose and improved dosing schedules, most commentators agree that these benefits are modest in comparison to human insulin,” said Currie.

The results of the study can be seen in the BMJ Open.

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