Sunday, January 15, 2012


I've been astonished lately by how many insulins are sold by the same company under different names in different companies. Some examples:

Novo Nordisk sells insulin aspart as NovoLog in the United States and as NovoRapid in Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, and I'm not sure where all else. It seems, going by its website to sell it simply as "analogue de insulina" in some South American countries but I'm not sure I'm reading that right.

Novo Nordisk gets even sillier the way it sells regular. It sells it as Novolin R here in the US and in some other countries. It sells is as Novolin ge Toronto in Canada (okay, I get it- Canadian pride). It sells it as Actrapid in Australia and some other companies. It sells it as Novolin S (just to confuse things further-the S is used to stand for Suspension and is used by some other insulin companies) in other countries. That's four names for one insulin!
I am not certain if Actrapid HM is the same as Actrapid or if the HM is productive. The standard Actrapid- like most Novo Nordisk insulins- is made by baker's yeast. But I'm not sure if the Actrapid HM is instead an animal insulin modified to be human insulin at the molecular level- some other insulin companies do this with pig and cow insulin, so maybe. Does anybody here know what HM means after the name of an insulin?

Porcine insulin in zinc suspension is sold by Merck-Plough-Shering as vetsulin in the United States (or it was, until a few months ago) and as caninsulin in Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

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