§ Mr. Wills
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken, over the last 10 years, to monitor the effectiveness and the side effects of genetically engineered insulin in comparison with animal insulins; and what have been the results of such monitoring. 
§ Ms Jowell
The Medicines Control Agency is responsible for the continuous monitoring of the safety of all licensed medicines and the safety of human (genetically engineered) insulin is therefore under continuous review. In addition, a considerable number of clinical studies have been performed and published comparing animal and human insulin.
The Committee on Safety of Medicines, which advises the Government on such matters, has fully reviewed the safety of human insulin on several occasions since its introduction. During the review process there has been repeated consultation with experts in the field of diabetes as well as with the British Diabetic Association. The Committee has concluded that, although some patients have experienced problems on transferring to human insulins and may be better suited to animal insulins, there is no evidence of a safety problem specific to human insulin. The Committee will continue to monitor closely the safety of insulins.