ABSTRACT: Background: From 2006 to 2017, the Brazilian federal government provided free of charge traditional insulins for diabetes treatment. This involved public tendering by the Department of Health Logistics of the Ministry of Health (DLOG-MOH) and the reimbursement after direct contracting for supply with commercial private retailers (Brazilian Popular Pharmacy Program - PFPB). Objective: We aim to describe the budget of the Brazilian federal government committed to for the acquisition of insulin, as well as corresponding prices and treatment availability from 2009 to 2017. Methods: Insulin volume and expenditure data were obtained in official administrative databases and in the Electronic System of the Information Service to Citizens. Data were analyzed according to the total provision by the federal government, DLOG-MOH and PFPB. Moreover, data were presented according to insulin type. Volumes were calculated in number of defined daily doses (DDD)/1,000 inhabitants/day. Results: Budgetary commitments due to insulin over nine years amounted to U$1,027 billion in 2017, with an approximate average of U$114.1 million per year. DLOG-MOH was the main insulin provider, despite the increase in PFPB provision along period. DLOG-MOH and PFBP together provided an average of 6.08 DDD/1000 inhabitants/day for nine years. Average prices in PFPB were higher than those in the DLOG series, with a downward trend over the years, narrowing to 2.7 times in 2017, when compared to 2009. Conclusions: Brazil evidenced a moderately sustainable and effective, albeit imperfect, policy for public provision of traditional insulins in the period preceding mandatory free supply of insulin analogues. Future studies must address treatment availability and financial sustainability in the new scenario.