Patients with diabetes living in Scotland are to get restricted access to Sanofi’s long-acting basal insulin Toujeo on the National Health Service.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has endorsed the drug, but says its use should be targeted to patients with type I diabetes who are at risk of or experience frequent or severe night-time hypoglycaemia. 

It can also be considered an option as a once daily therapy for patients who require carer administration of their insulin, and in type II diabetics who suffer from recurrent episodes of hypoglycaemia or need assistance with their insulin injections, the cost watchdog said.

Toujeo (insulin glargine) was approved in Europe in April this year after Phase III data showed that while its blood sugar control was comparable to Sanofi’s older insulin Lantus’ its safety profile was favourable, with lower incidence of confirmed hypoglycaemia day and at night in patients with type II forms of the condition. 

Around 250,000 people in Scotland have diabetes. But despite available therapies, over two-thirds of UK adults remain uncontrolled on insulin, increasing their risk of potentially avoidable complications such as amputation, blindness and renal disease.

According to Sanofi, many clinicians cite concern of hypoglycaemia as a reason for not managing blood glucose more aggressively, while the fear of sugar lows can also prevent patients from taking their insulin properly, leading to poor glucose control.