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Volume 456: debated on Friday 2 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) safety, (b) clinical effectiveness and (c) cost effectiveness of (i) animal insulins, (ii) synthetic human insulins and (iii) analogue insulins; and whether she plans to ask the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to make an assessment of those treatments. (116458)

All licensed insulins have been fully assessed and found to satisfy the regulatory requirements for quality, safety and efficacy. The safety of human insulins in clinical practice is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the European Medicines Agency.

Clinical guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the management of both type one and type two diabetes conclude that the majority of studies indicate that both human and animal insulins are equally effective and report no significant differences in hypoglycaemic episodes and glycaemic control between the insulin of human and animal chemical structures.

NICE produces guidance for the national health service and Wales on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of treatment and healthcare based on the latest available evidence.