16 Aug 2010

Diabetes drug available free to more people

6:50 am on 16 August 2010

Thousands of New Zealanders with diabetes are expected to benefit under a deal reached between drug-buying agency Pharmac and manufacturer Sanofi Aventis.

The deal widens access to the relatively new, long-acting drug, insulin glargine, which has been been available since 2006 to up to 3000 people type one diabetes.

It is now available free for up to 10,000 people with type one or type two diabetes.

Another insulin drug, glulisine, is being funded for the first time for those needing short-acting injections.

Pharmac says it cannot estimate the cost of the deal, which includes other products, but says it will give patients more options.