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Amid concerns about disruption to insulin availability, another supplier has moved to reassure pharmacists and prescribers

Sanofi has issued a statement in which it says it can assure health care professionals that the company is not experiencing any shortages of insulin glargine 100 units/mL in Australia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanofi has also called on pharmacists and clinicians to discourage patients with diabetes from stockpiling the product.

Dr Katarina Kelin, Head of Medical for Sanofi’s General Medicines business in Australia, said that the company understands the anxiety that many insulin-dependent patients may be feeling.

However it assured clinicians that the company has “taken steps to prevent disruption due to the pandemic”.

“Our global manufacturing network is operational, and as of today our production of insulin products has not been impacted by COVID-19,” Dr Kelin said.

“We support the advice of the Pharmacy Guild and others who recommend that people living with insulin-dependent diabetes do not increase the amount of insulin they store at home, as this could disrupt patterns of distribution and supply, and contribute to future shortages for others,” she said.

Sanofi’s statement follows that of Novo Nordisk, which also reached out to customers in late March to assure them that it had no current supply constraints.

“Currently, we are NOT experiencing any supply constraints in our global production, distribution or storage (warehouses),” Novo Nordisk wrote at the time.

“We are well prepared for situations like this and have an inventory policy that serves long-term supply.”

At the time, Novo also urged pharmacists to discourage stockpiling.

The Sanofi call comes as the company’s Lantus is being delisted from the PBS, underscoring the need for patients to be aware that this is happening and how it is being managed.

Dr Kelin said it is important that people prescribed Lantus are now offered other insulin glargine 100 units/mL.

Sanofi is now accelerating its availability of Optisulin in Australia to support ongoing insulin glargine 100 units/mL availability.

“We are committed to ensuring that the delisting of Lantus and the introduction of Optisulin (insulin glargine 100 units/mL) is as smooth as possible for people living with insulin-dependent diabetes,” Dr Kelin said.

Dr Kelin said that the company had written to 35,000 healthcare practitioners about insulin glargine 100 units/mL.

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