Ultra Long Acting Insulin – Degludec – Three Times per Week

We’ve been hearing about Novo Nordisk’s Ultra Long Acting Insulin, Degludec, as a result of the series of preliminary studies that were published last year.

Now a more comprehensive investigation, conduced in India, Canada, US and South Africa, has been completed which compared the insulin to Glargine (or Lantus).  A significant difference between the treatment protocol was the frequency of injection with Glargine requiring a daily administration while Degludec was taken every 48 hours.  However, the total daily dose (TDD) administered was the same for each.

Investigators found Degludec to be equialent to Glargine in terms of effectiveness (similar reductions in HbA1c).  The duration of apparently consistent insulin action is intriguing and I’d like to see a plot comparing the pharmacokinetics of the two insulins.

At last year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting, the following was presented:

Despite the poor scaling and 24 rather than 48-hour x-axis, the concentration-time profile is flat.

Novo Nordisk spokesperson reportedly told WebMD that the company plans to seek approval later this year to market the long-acting insulin in both the U.S. and Europe.

So here’s the question…. not knowing the cost of Degludec, let’s just assume it’s more expensive.  If you had to pay more for Degludec but were able to inject every other day would you?