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October 16, 2018

Diabetes Canada has been made aware that Wockhardt UK, the only manufacturer of bovine (beef) insulin, is discontinuing the manufacturing of this product. The company advised users of this type of insulin that the decision was beyond their control due to the unavailability of the raw materials. Users will need to change their therapy. Wockhardt UK also included a chart with predicted depletion dates.

This announcement can be very troubling and devastating to a person living with diabetes who is managing their disease well with bovine insulin.

Wockhardt UK informed Diabetes Canada that every effort to supply those who need it for as long as possible was made; however, the demand for bovine insulin is much lower and suppliers have been unable to withstand the decrease in demand due to the costs of the manufacturing process.

Diabetes Canada has also directly brought this issue to the attention of Health Canada to express concern on behalf of Canadians impacted by this news. Health Canada has issued information on this issue. 

Canadians who use bovine insulin are urged to speak with their physician/health-care team to determine the best management and treatment plan, and alternative insulin. Porcine (pork) insulin will continue to be available for those who use animal insulin. Increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended whenever there are changes to insulin brands or doses.

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Educational programs and support services;
  • Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).


For more information or to book an interview:

Sherry Calder
Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
Diabetes Canada
T: 902-453-3529
C: 902-210-1799

Author: Sherry Calder

Region: National