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In a rebuke to two of the largest diabetes drug makers, the World Health Organization has decided not to include a pair of widely used insulins on its newest list of essential medicines, because the agency determined that the costs did not justify additional benefits.

The WHO acknowledged the treatments — Sanofi’s Lantus and Novo Nordisk’s Levemir — are effective in helping patients control their blood sugar, but expressed concern that prices for these so-called analog insulins, which are genetically altered, make them less desirable than human insulins.

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