The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Levemir (insulin detemir) of Novo Nordisk’s long-acting modern insulin

Novo Nordisk has announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Levemir (insulin detemir), the company’s long-acting modern insulin for use in type 1 and type 2 diabetes including combination treatment with oral antidiabetics (OADs). Levemir was approved in Europe in 2004 and in the US in 2005, and is currently marketed in 58 countries worldwide.

 Novo Nordisk expects to launch Levemir in Japan in its prefilled FlexPen device and in Penfill for its NovoPen injection systems before the end of 2007. With the new approval, Novo Nordisk will be the only company in Japan offering rapid-acting, pre-mixed as well as long-acting modern insulins, allowing doctors and patients to tailor insulin regimens to each patient’s individual needs.

It is estimated that diabetes currently affects more than 16 million people in Japan; 7.4 million have diabetes or glucose levels indicating diabetes, and 8.8 million have pre-diabetes.