What's the difference between insulin brands?

I’m not asking what’s the difference between fast acting and slow acting, I’m more wondering what’s the difference between the name brands? Why do some cost more then others? And why choose one over the other? Aren’t they all just insulin?

My doctor put me on levemir and novorapid. What about you?

when i was MDI, i was on humalog and lantus. when i moved to the pump, the humalog – although a fast-acting insulin – didn’t seem to work as well so i was switched to novalog. anecdotally, this insulin seems more stable and thus keeps its potency. like any other med, different folks respond to the same med in different ways.

I also think a lot of it is doctor’s preferences. Like so many medications out there each doctor has their own preference.

Hi Catherine, I saw this on your page and wanted to add my 2 euros. there’s an OC saying, “your mileage may vary” that pretty much sums it up. Some people, be it mental or physical, just prefer one brand over another. Chemically, analog insulin like novorapid (novolog in the US) and apidra and humalog are all the same. I have tried all 3 (my endo is cool and gives me all her samples) with none, ZERO, nada difference - but that’s just me. I know a lot of sensitive people that have marked differences when they switch brands so they have to (and should) stick with what’s working. Coincidentally, since Eli Lilly saved my life in 1977 with their beef/pork origin animal insulin, I feel partial to them and load my pump with humalog.

most people here wouldn’t believe me but this is true: when the pharm companies stopped making animal derived insulin some people went absolutely nuts. “I can’t take human insulin” might sound like I am making it up but it’s true. Sickness, skin reactions, hypo unawareness, convulsions, and other horrific unexplained misc. reactions were being reported. some people bought 2 years supply at the end because they couldn’t take an insulin that’s pretty darn close to what your body makes. strange isn’t it?

rDNA bio reactors are proprietary to the companies that design, own and operate them. It can account for very high differences in the cost to make insulin from one manufacturer to another - but that’s only part of the story. The amount of money that goes into research, acquisition and licensing is absolutely staggering. Insurance and government sanctions can also dictate the cost of medicine and exactly which one ends up on the “formulary” is voodoo to me.

Doctors, (and there’s 2 in my family) are most conservative to the point of superstition. I am serious, if they have a patient that does well on one medicine then they will forever be biased and you will need a big hammer to convince them to try something new. Since the 80’s it become harder for sales rep’s to offer payola - I ain’t saying it doesn’t happen but it ain’t like the old days.

hey I am sorry this was soooo long but I have the day off, and the post caught my eye! take care!


I’ve written up a discussion of this very topic on a page about using insulin for people with Type 2. at http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/15478720.php. The information about the insulins is the same no matter what kind of diabetes a person has.

Novorapid is Novolog in the US, I believe.

My doctor has put me on Novomix (this is a two part type, shake well before use)and have been increasing steadily one unit at a time to try and settle the highs and lows, am now on 47 am and 47 pm, still not settled.
Is there to anyones knowledge, a better one.
People I know are on a ready mixed type - is this better - stronger?
If somebody has the knowledge - please enlighten.

greeting Catherine,
namastee and goodafternoon from kathmandu, Nepal

since 2010 april i was taking novomix, thanks for putting your inquiry and curious, i don’t know if you receive more reply what i saw, as this is old post, so i wish everyone who is taking insulin post more, so we all have idea what works best, just weeks ago my mother in law was admitted at hospital and she was also asked given insulin, but that was different than what i am taking, the name of insulin she is taking is " lilly" 30/70 and it cost Nepalese currency 300 only, mine ( novomix) cost 713/- i was so surprised to hear that price between and when the doctor ( not mine) told her that it works same, then i feell and thought why i was adviced and given expensive one? so i think it is just brand different? for this i am going to ask and appointment my doctor after 1 week.
we can ask and write in more details in email , hope you are interest to share more about this write me at sis_08july@live.com
regards and respect
shyam shrestha