Interchangeable insulin glargine biosimilars available through Prime Therapeutics and Walgreens

Biosimilares/General | Posted 10/12/2021 post-comment0 Post your comment

In November 2021, it was announced that, in the US, insulin glargine biosimilars co-developed by Viatris and Biocon Biologics will be preferentially offered through Prime Therapeutics pharmacy benefit management organization and will be available to members of Walgreens Prescription Savings Club.

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Viatris (formerly Mylan) and Biocon Biologics’ co-developed Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) injection was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2020 [1] as a biosimilar of originator Lantus®. This then became the first biosimilar to be granted interchangeable status by FDA in July 2021 [2]. This status allows for the products’ substitution for the reference product at the pharmacy counter. On 16 November 2021, the companies also launched their unbranded insulin glargine (insulin glargine-yfgn) biosimilar injection, which was also approved with interchangeable status. Both of Viatris-Biocon’s branded and unbranded insulin glargine biosimilar products are now available in pen and vial presentations.

Prime Therapeutics is one of the leading pharmacy benefit management organizations in the US. It will now list the branded Semglee biosimilar injection and the unbranded insulin glargine biosimilar injection, over the originator Lantus®, in its National Preferred Formulary (NPF).

Prime Therapeutics has over 33 million US members. Following this announcement, and starting 1 January 2022, all patients in the Prime Therapeutics network who need insulin will have the benefit of and access to this high-quality treatment with lower or consistent out-of-pocket costs. Prime Therapeutics joins Express Scripts, America’s largest pharmacy benefit management organization, in listing these products in their NPF [3].

Following the US launch of the unbranded insulin glargine, Walgreens Prescription Savings Club also announced that it will make this product available to members. It has been advertised those members can save up to 80% of the cash price of comparable long-acting insulins purchased at Walgreens.

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References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves insulin glargine biosimilar Semglee [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/news/FDA-approves-insulin-glargine-biosimilar-Semglee
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves first interchangeable insulin glargine biosimilar [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/news/fda-approves-first-interchangeable-insulin-glargine-biosimilar
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Interchangeable insulin glargine biosimilar preferred on Express Scripts [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from:
www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/general/interchangeable-insulin-glargine-biosimilar-preferred-on-express-scripts

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