Goodbye Lantus, Hello Optisulin: Sanofi to swap long-acting insulin brands

Clinicians have six months to transition their patients using Sanofi’s long-acting insulin glargine Lantus over to the company’s second brand Optisulin. 

The pharmaceutical company has announced the recent PBS listing of Optisulin and at the same time foreshadowed the delisting of Lantus from 1 July 2020. 

Given the two drugs have the same formulation, are used in the same devices and at the same price, the company is confident that patients with diabetes can be successfully transitioned during that time period.  

Dr Katarina Kelin, Head of Medical for Sanofi’s primary care business in Australia, said in a statement that the change reflects the ongoing shift toward biosimilar, generic and second brand medicines. 

“In the case of insulin glargine 100 units/mL, Optisulin is the same formulation as Lantus and is one of a number of medicines that is ‘A’ flagged, allowing for simple substitution with Lantus,” she said. 

“No dose adjustment is required when transitioning from Lantus to Optisulin. Patients should continue to titrate their dose as directed by their treating clinician.”

According to information on the TGA website, “commercial changes” are the reason for the future deletion of Lantus from the market. 

CEO of the Australian Diabetes Society Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulo told the limbic it had been made clear that Sanofi, globally, were changing their focus away from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

“And so this is a way of them changing their focus. I think the issue is that Semglee or biosimilars coming on the market means that companies need to be more adaptable to the changing environment of medicines and I think this is part of the strategy of companies being able to compete more effectively, particularly at the pharmacy level.”

He said the six-month transition period provides enough time for education and for people to be switched to the new insulin. 

Sanofi has said they are in the process of writing to 35,000 healthcare practitioners about the changes and that the Sanofi Medical Information Line is available at 1800 818 806.

Sanofi insulin patients can call 1800 2 746 753 to speak with a credentialled diabetes educator. 

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