Biosimilar Insulin and Costs: What Can We Expect?

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2015 Sep 8;10(2):457-62. doi: 10.1177/1932296815605337.


The costs for insulin treatment are high, and the steady increase in the number of patients with diabetes on insulin presents a true challenge to health care systems. Therefore, all measures to lower these costs are welcomed by patients, physicians, and health care providers. The market introduction of biosimilar insulins presents an option to lower treatment costs as biosimilars are usually offered at a lower price than the originator product. However, the assumption that a drastic reduction in insulin prices will take place, as was observed with many generic drugs, is most probably not realistic. As the first biosimilar insulin has now been approved in the EU, this commentary discusses a number of aspects that are relevant when it comes to the potential cost reduction we will see with the use of biosimilar insulins.

Keywords: biosimilar insulin; costs; diabetes therapy; economics; insulin therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / economics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / economics*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulins / economics*
  • Insulins / therapeutic use


  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulins