Move over, Lantus! Another long-acting insulin is on its way: Detemir, brand-name Levemir, from Novo Nordisk. This new Lantus competitor was approved by the FDA last June and is expected to be available in both pen and vial delivery forms (pen-only in Canada) in the first half of 2006. It is already available in more than 10 European countries and sales have been extremely impressive, according to diabetes consultancy CloseConcerns.
“Detemir is characterized as a once-daily insulin in Canada, whereas in the US, it is labeled for one or two injections per day. In clinical trials, the long-acting insulins appear to have similar effects on glycemic control, and neither Levemir nor Lantus is meant to be mixed with other insulins.”
Apparently the competitive differentiator for Novo here is that its product shows better absorption by patients, and reduced weight gain effects. Although, as CloseConcerns notes: “Unfortunately, we haven’t yet seen a head-to-head study of Lantus versus Levemir.” I’d wager that study is surely on its way, so if you like participating in clinical studies (which I’ve found that many Type 1 diabetics do), check with your local diabetes research institute soon