Kuala Lumpur November 27, 2018 – High quality, internationally proven biosimilar diabetic therapy that is cost effective can effectively substitute ‘branded’ innovator drugs in reducing the burden on public health and paying patients to manage the cost of treating diabetes in Malaysia, which has the highest number of diabetics in the Asean region.

Diabetes which affects up to 17.5 per cent of adult Malaysians aged above 30, or some 3.5 million patients in 2017, cost public health authorities more than RM1.05 billion (RM3,000X3.5 m) annually. With the numbers of diabetic patients which is expected to grow exponentially to tip over 4.5 million by 2020, the burden of managing this disease which costs about RM3,000 per patient each year or RM1.35 billion. (RM3,000X 4.5 million).

The medical fraternity is unanimous that it is imperative to ensure access to high-quality drugs, including biosimilars that are affordable and just as effective to manage the socio- economic burden in the treatment of diabetes. The introduction of the first insulin glargine biosimilar, Basalog® in Malaysia, in 2016, offers an established long acting (24 hours) peakless human insulin analogue which has met strenuous international tests and offers therapies that are cost competitive.

Now, Basalog One® is being introduced in a pre-filled pen format to offer a convenient alternative to diabetics. The globally accredited international quality device designed by US- based Becton Dickinson, the Basalog One® pen can dial up to a maximum of 80 units of insulin glargine and calibrated for increments of 1 IU.

According to Prof Dr Chan Siew Pheng, Consultant Endocrinologist at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Basalog One® offers a significant advancement in treating both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients.

“Basalog One® ensures that it acts at a constant level for 24 hours. Diabetics would also use it only once daily, thereby reducing the number of injections and potentially boost compliance. Clear digital display and a smooth clicking mechanism allows patients to precisely select the required dose before administering it.

“This treatment offers better glycaemic (glucose) control compliance with a single shot. It replaces other insulins that do not act for 24 hours, diminishing the discomfort of multiple insulin shots and the possibility of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),” she added.

Speaking at the Basalog One® launch here recently to introduce the biosimilar drug to the healthcare fraternity, Professor Dr Chan also shared that the number of diabetics has kept on increasing and the high prevalence, recorded at 17.5 per cent of Malaysian adults aged 30 years and above in 2015, could cause a heavy socio-economy burden to both the patients and government.

“The long-term solution is naturally to find an effective approach to reduce the number of diabetics. On a shorter term, biosimilar drugs would be the best solution as it is more economical and just as effective in treating patients. This could potentially reduce diabetes treatment costs and increase accessibility to insulin,” she said.

Guest speaker, Prof Dr Marcus Flather, Professor of Medicine & Clinical Trials at Norwich Medical School, United Kingdom, shared the results from the INSTRIDE 1 and 2 recent clinical studies whereby the Basalog One was been shown to be non-inferior as compared to the reference insulin glargine.

“Clinical trials demonstrated that the biosimilar insulin glargine showed effective blood sugar (HbA1c) control as the innovator glargine. The meant that the daily insulin dose used was no different and with unexpected drug-related adverse events reported.

“In fact, the insulin should be initiated early in the management of diabetes to avoid risks that could increase complications,” he explained during his presentation ‘The current role of biosimilar Insulin Glargine in the management of Diabetes’ during the launch. Basalog One® is indicated for adults, adolescents and children of 2 years and above with Diabetes Mellitus where treatment with insulin is required, and has been approved by the
National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). Developed by Biocon, Basalog One® is exclusively distributed and marketed by CCM Duopharma Biotech Berhad (CCM Duopharma).

“The approval in a highly-regulated market like Japan, marks a huge milestone in securing credible endorsement for Basalog®. Biocon and CCM Duopharma, as its marketing partner, will work together with the Malaysian authorities and professional healthcare community to enhance access to this range of diabetes therapy,” commented Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar, Group Managing Director of CCM Duopharma.

“Diabetes is one the most pressing health issues facing the country and we, at CCM Duopharma are committed to providing access to sustainable solutions in treating this disease and bringing down healthcare expenditure with the use of this cost effective, high quality biosimilar insulin,” he added.

In 2012, CCM Duopharma inked a strategic partnership with Biocon Ltd, Asia’s leading biopharmaceutical enterprise, giving the Company exclusive license and distribution rights to market, sell and distribute a range of insulin products in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.