As CEO of a company that manufactures insulin syringes and pen needles for the US and Canadian markets, I have been closely monitoring the regulations and trends pertaining to the safe disposal of the products we produce. Surveys indicate that less than five percent of the over three billion sharps devices sold in the US annually are disposed of in some type of closed container. Most of the remaining 95 percent are deposited, unprotected, in the household trash. Significant changes may be pending with regard to the disposal of used sharps devices, and it's likely that pharmacists will be affected by these changes.
Burbank, Calif.-February 2012 - Although it is illegal to throw used needles and syringes in the trash in California, more than 936 million home-generated sharps end up in the waste stream annually, according to CalRecycle. This is often due to the lack of convenient return options for users of these medical products.
For a person with diabetes who is beginning insulin therapy, the range of products can be overwhelming. The options are often limited by the patient's healthcare plan, however, and the initial selection of a product is frequently influenced by the healthcare provider. With diabetes education tailored to the individual patient, the delivery of insulin through a particular device is achieved by teaching proper injection technique and selecting an appropriate needle.
People with type 2 diabetes often find visits with their physicians frustrating. Dr. Jeffrey Mechanick, MD, FACE, FACP, Secretary of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), observes, "Many times when patients come to the doctor, the first thing that they say is really what's on their mind--that's their top priority. But oftentimes physicians don't address that at all. Instead, they move on to what's on their own agenda."
There's more to that little box of pen needles than meets the eye, according to Holly Hartshorn of UltiMed. In early March, UltiMed launched a 50-count box of UltiCare pen needles into the marketplace. We spoke to Holly to find out exactly what kind of thought goes into such a product before it appears on pharmacy shelves.
The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture has announced its 60th annual Good Design Awards, which honor "quality design of the highest form, function, and aesthetic." Guess which paragon of contemporary design won an award this year? An insulin needle. Called the NovoTwist and made by Novo Nordisk for use with insulin pens, this marvel of design has a bayonet fitting that allows "just twist" attachment and detachment to compatible pens, and an audible and tactile "click" that confirms attachment of the needle.
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, announced today the launch of BD Ultra-FineTM Nano-the world's smallest pen needle. The BD Nano pen needle is proven to be as effective as longer needles for patients of all body types and proven to offer a less painful injection experience for the more than 5 million people in the United States who inject insulin or GLP-1 to manage their diabetes.
This issue, we lay out the many devices with which diabetic people
must poke themselves: syringes, pen needles, and lancing devices.
And we top them off with a sprinkling of sugar: a chart outlining
all the sources of fast-acting glucose.
If you've ever hit muscle with a needle, you know the pain. If you've ever injected the right dose of insulin and still found your blood sugar sky high, you might have injected too shallowly and hit skin.
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