HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 cc320-1W
Mr. Blair

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which pharmaceutical companies produce (i) animal insulin, (ii) human insulin, and (iii) both.

Mr. Mellor

The following companies supply insulin in the United Kingdom:

(i) animal insulin CP Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Evans Medical Ltd.

(ii)human insulin Eli Lilly and Co., Ltd.

(iii) human and animal insulin Novo Laboratories Ltd. Nordisk/Wellcome

Mr. Blair

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on how many diabetics used (i) animal insulin, and (ii) human insulin for each year since 1983.

Mr. Mellor

We do not collect centrally information about patients and their drugs, but the number of prescriptions for animal and human insulin dispensed by community pharmacists in each of 1983 and 1987 is shown in the table. Information for the intervening years can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information from the hospital services indicates that in 1987–88 approximately 350,000 units of insulin were supplied of which 75 per cent. were human based.

Number of perscriptions for insulin dispensed by retail pharmacy in England (Thousands)
Animal Human
1983 930 19
1987 525 418


  1. 1. Figures are estimates based on a sample of approximately 1 in 200 prescriptions dispensed by retail pharmacy contractors within the Family Practitioner Service. The figures do not include details of insulin dispensed by the hospital service or of prescriptions dispensed by Dispensing Doctors.
  2. 2. The figure for generics relate to prescriptions written by their generic name.

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