There are currently no generic Humulin N (NPH insulin) products available. "Biologic" medications, such as Humulin N, are regulated by different laws and rules than most other medications. These laws prevent any generic versions of these medications from being manufactured in the United States. It is not clear whether generic Humulin N will ever be available.
An Overview of Humulin N Generic
Humulin® N (NPH insulin) is a non-prescription diabetes medication. It is an intermediate-acting form of insulin used to help control blood sugar. Compared to regular human insulin, Humulin N is designed to work start working more slowly, produce a lower (and later) peak, and have a longer duration of action.
Humulin N is made by Eli Lilly and Company. Although it is a fairly old medication, there are no generic versions of Humulin N (or any other insulins) available.
At this point, there are no generic insulin medications in the United States. Humulin N is considered a "biologic" medication that is regulated by different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics, including generic Humulin N, are not allowed to be manufactured in the United States. Currently, legislation is underway that may change the laws concerning generic biologics (including insulin), but it is not clear when (or even if) this may happen.
Is NPH insulin the Same as Generic Humulin N?
No -- NPH insulin is the active ingredient in Humulin N (as well as other insulins) but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of a drug is referred to as the "generic name." The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off patent, and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Humulin N [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Lily USA, LLC;2013 March.
Humulin N Vial [patient package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company;2007 August.
Humulin N Pen [patient package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company;2007 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 10, 2008.
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