IDDT campaigning

Pork and beef insulins available in the UK
Synthetic ‘human’ insulin versus natural animal insulin
Animal insulin – Minister’s letter
Limiting availability of blood glucose test strips


Back to Here to Help

Pork and beef insulins available in the UK

At the end of December 2007 and for commercial reasons, Novo Nordisk discontinued all their pork insulin products.

Naturally IDDT was angry at this further reduction in choice of insulins for people with diabetes and the total disregard of the needs of the significant minority of people who use pork insulin. However, the good news is that the UK is one of the few countries where there is a second supplier of animal insulins – Wockhardt UK [formerly CP Pharmaceuticals] who supplies both pork and beef insulins in vials and cartridges for pens.

The nearest equivalent pork insulins from Wockhardt UK for people who were Pork Actrapid, Pork Insulatard and Pork Mixtard made by Novo Nordisk are shown on the chart below. We have assurances from both Wockhardt and the Minister of Health that Wockhardt will continue to make supply animal insulins.

Alternative animal insulins available from Wockhardt UK

Novo Nordisk insulins
Nearest pork insulin available Beef insulin available Vials and pen cartridges
Pork Actrapid Hypurin Porcine Neutral Hypurin Bovine Neutral Yes
Pork Insulatard Hypurin Porcine Isophane Hypurin Bovine Isophane Yes
Pork Mixtard Hypurin Porcine
30/70 Mix

As ever, we remind you that with any change of insulin, even if it is just changing brands of pork insulin, you do need to monitor blood glucose levels more carefully during the changeover period.

Note: Supplies of Wockhardt animal insulins

IDDT has always argued that to have one supplier of pork insulin for the whole of the UK, leaves people who need it in a very vulnerable position. This is a matter that we have taken up with the Department of Health and will continue to do so.

If you experience any suspected adverse reactions as a result of a change of insulin, do remember that patients can [and should] report them the Department of Health through the Yellow Card Scheme. Here’s how to do it:

  • if you have access to the internet: go to and CLICK on submit a Yellow Card report.
  • if you prefer to use a paper Yellow Card reporting form: many GP surgeries have the cards or they can be obtained from the MHRA, tel. 08008 1003352

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can be of any help.