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Delayed Drug In New Zealand Markets

Diabetics in New Zealand are welcoming a Pharmac decision to fund long-acting insulin, that has been available abroad for years. //

The government agency that purchases drugs announced yesterday that it would fund the insulin, glargine, from July 1. It is also known by its trade name, Lantus.

Wayne McNee, Pharmac chief executive, said the drug, which was priced at $5 million, reduces the risk of hypo glycaemia which could lead to muscle weakness, confusion and sweating, and in the worst cases, to coma.

Community liaison officer of Diabetes Society, Lynne Taylor, welcomed the decision, but said it had taken too long for Pharmac to come out with the drug, as the patient lobby has been demanding it for at least 18 months.

Complications of un-controlled diabetes include problems of the eye, kidney and heart.


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