Intended for healthcare professionals


German agency suspects that insulin analogue glargine increases risk of cancer

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 08 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2774
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. 1Heidelberg

    The German agency responsible for deciding which drugs should be used in the German health system has said that it suspects that use of the long acting insulin analogue glargine (marketed as Lantus) increases the risk of cancer.

    The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, the German equivalent of the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has recommended that patients use human insulin instead of the recombinant analogue insulin glargine, if medically possible, until the suspicion is removed. The institute’s recommendations are based largely on its study published in the journal Diabetologia (doi:10.1007/s00125-009-1418-4).

    In response, drug agencies in Europe and the United States have asked for more scientific evidence, but meanwhile they advise patients to continue their treatment with glargine unless advised differently by their doctor.

    Stuart Pocock, professor of medical statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, questioned …

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