FDA Approves New Long-Acting Insulin

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the once-daily, long-acting insulin Toujeo (generic name insulin glargine 300 U/ml) for controlling blood glucose in adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The medicine, which is manufactured by pharmaceutical company Sanofi, joins basal insulins Lantus (insulin glargine 100 U/ml) and Levemir (insulin detemir) on the U.S. market.


Basal, or background insulin, is typically taken once daily to cover the liver’s secretion of glucose into the bloodstream. Toujeo has the same active ingredient as Lantus, but it is three times the concentration and is designed to release more gradually. In a series of international studies involving more than 3,500 adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, Toujeo produced similar blood glucose control to Lantus, but with lower rates of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).

This medicine should not be used in people under 18 or to treat diabetic ketoacidosis (a potentially life-threatening condition marked by a chemical imbalance in the body). The most common side effects of Toujeo (apart from hypoglycemia) are nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the nose and pharynx) and upper respiratory tract infection.

Toujeo is expected to debut in the United States in April 2015 and will be available in the Toujeo SoloSTAR, a prefilled, disposable pen containing 450 units of the medicine. Information on pricing is not currently available.

For more information about Toujeo, see the press release on Sanofi’s website or visit the official Toujeo website. And to learn more about using long-acting insulin, see “Getting Down to Basals,” by 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year Gary Scheiner.

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  • Stephen Raymer

    I wonder what it costs without insurance

  • LindaB

    It will be very expensive … just like the insulin is now. Why is there no generic for insulin like other medications? Insulin has been around for decades yet there is no generic that is affordable for so many people that need it in order to survive. Sad.

    • Hodgbodg

      I have wondered this myself. Talk about a sure-thing on their part. Also, I have wondered why porcine insulin can no longer be purchased. I cringe thinking about injecting these chemical concoctions created in labs. Granted, the porcine insulin still must be sterilized in a lab, but I would think seeing as people eat pork and have enzymes available naturally to break down pork proteins, that this would work better with our bodies, as opposed to chemically derived mimics. I only know I have felt like crap every single day I have taken injected insulin.( going on 25 years since diagnosed)

      • Karen Haggarty

        Porcine was discontinued due to the high rate of sensitivity to the protein. Even though patient could eat pork without problem the longer they used porcine insulin the more sensitive they got. This was VERY problematic in the days before synthetic insulin.

    • Mary V.

      Around $420 per box at Walgreens….

    • Jennifer Lynn

      Actually, there is generic insulin available at Walmart without a prescription. You can get Novolin N, Novolin R, or Novolin 70/30 over the counter at the pharmacy without a prescription for $26 per vial.

  • April

    I am wondering what the cost is WITH insurance…. I would rather give myself one shot a day verses taking multiple pills a day.

    • nanalalo

      My insurance covers it, shockingly, and because my deductible is met it doesn’t cost me anything… Thank heavens!!

      • Shar

        Does it work better for you than the Lantis did?

  • Peter

    This sounds like a great advance for people who need insulin all the time. I too would be worried about high prices. Thanks, Peter, Cork city.