Diabetes medication Humalog faces shortage in Canada

Boxes of Eli Lilly Humalog medication sit on a pharmacy shelf in Provo, Utah. Getty Images

Eli Lilly, a major U.S.-based drugmaker, has issued a warning regarding a shortage of insulin medication in Canada, which is expected to persist through mid-April.

The 10-millilitre vials of the insulin Humalog are impacted by the shortage, Drug Shortages Canada first reported on Monday.

Humalog, also known as insulin lispro, is a “fast-acting” insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to Eli Lilly’s website.

“Lilly Canada has posted a shortage of the Humalog 10 mL vial on Drug Shortages Canada,” an Eli Lilly spokesperson told Global News in a Friday email. “Lilly is currently managing the existing Canadian supply of the 10 mL vial to ensure minimal disruption at the patient level.”

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The insulin shortage is expected to be resolved on April 14 “with intermittent cycles of product replenishment in the coming months and we will continue to manage supply to minimize any disruption for patients,” the spokesperson added.

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Drug Shortages Canada said the shortage is due to a delay in shipping of the drug.

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Eli Lilly has also posted a shortage of the medication in the United States.

The shortage only impacts the vial format of the insulin. Eli Lilly said the Humalog medication is also available in cartridges and pre-filled multi-dose pens (KwikPen) and there “may be alternative formals of the insulin for patients and health-care professionals to consider, where appropriate.”

“For patients requiring a vial only, a biosimilar option of Humalog is available and currently not reporting any shortages,” the company stated.

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