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.
Working toward the goal of unifying patients' diabetic treatment information in a single place, the PositiveID Corporation hopes to patent a new device that monitors insulin pens. The Insulin Tracker would attach to a user's insulin pen and record the times and amounts of injections. That information would then be sent to a database that allows for comprehensive monitoring. Insulin pens come in disposable and cartridge-replaceable flavors; the tracker can be moved easily from one pen to another.
Insulin pens have been very popular in Europe for quite some time and interest is building steadily in the United States. Many people prefer an insulin pen over the standard syringe and vial because the pens are more convenient and more accurate. Pre-filled disposable insulin pens are the easiest of all, because you don't never have to install a new cartridge when the pen is empty-you just toss it out.
Physicians who treat people with type 2 diabetes face difficult choices when selecting the best medical therapy for each patient. The decision process is further complicated by the fact that because type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, therapeutic agents that were initially successful may fail five or ten years later.
Novo Nordisk has redesigned the FlexPen®, the number one selling pre-filled insulin pen in the world, to not only require less force when pushing the button to inject insulin, but also to clearly identify each type of insulin with prominent color branding. The FlexPen® is available with three Novo Nordisk insulin products: Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection); NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection); and NovoLog® Mix 70/30 (70% insulin aspart protamine suspension and 30% insulin aspart injection, [rDNA origin]).
Sandy was giving her son his evening dose of NPH insulin - something she had done many times. But as she finished pushing in the plunger, she said to herself, "That shot took too long." She immediately realized that she had given Joey the wrong dose. In other words, by mistake, she had given him a potentially lethal dose of insulin.
The stock of Byetta manufacturer Amylin Pharmaceuticals has lost more than half of its value over the past eight weeks, thanks to FDA concerns that the type 2 treatment may be connected with the deaths from acute pancreatitis of six Byetta users. Although the FDA has not proven a direct association between fatal pancreatitis and the use of Byetta, Amylin's stock has fallen nevertheless.
Nassau University Medical Center said it had underestimated the number of diabetes patients potentially exposed to reused insulin pens and would be sending letters to at least 840 of them, instead of 185, urging them to be tested for hepatitis C and B and HIV.
This is a thank-you note for the article, “An Appeal to Insulin Manufacturers,” on page 27 of Diabetes Health (Feb/March 2008). In the 10 years that I have been using insulin, I have made the “near fatal” mistake twice. I use Lantus and Apridra (5 units of Apidra before breakfast and lunch, and 8 units before dinner; 50 units of Lantus at bedtime). I realized what I had done after the fact and stayed up all night eating and monitoring. I was so scared each time I ate my blood sugar up to 300 mg/dl and 400 mg/dl!
It is estimated that nearly 3 million African-Americans have diabetes – 17 percent of all diabetes patients in the United States. That figure is growing as the proportion of African-American patients diagnosed with diabetes consistently increases year to year, according to research from GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group.
Eli Lilly and Company has introduced KwikPen, a pre-filled insulin pen
containing its Humalog insulin brand of insulins. The pen is the third that
Lilly has introduced over the past 12 months, following in the wake of the
HumaPen MEMOIR, a digital insulin pen with memory, and the HumaPen® LUXURA
HD, a reusable pen for people who need insulin dosing in smaller increments.
To successfully treat diabetes, you must take charge of your own diabetes
management. You need to know your medications, and you need to know your
pharmacist. But that kind of intimate knowledge has become a lot more complex in
the past decade.
"Delight" is a word rarely found in company mission statements, but it's part of Owen Mumford's rather sweet and very British declaration - the company aims to "delight its customers" with its products, keeping in mind that they just might "change the life of our nearest and dearest."
For more than fifty years, I have been a type 1 diabetic. I am writing to bring
attention to the fact that huge amounts of insulin are wasted due to the insulin
packaging practices of the pharmaceutical industry.
I have lived with type 2 diabetes for thirteen years, and I know very well how
to take care of myself. In fact, I have it down to a routine. The flaw of a
routine activity, however, is that it is so very routine: you go through the
motions without thinking. And that, as I learned to my deep chagrin, can be
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved pre-filled pens for administering Symlin, which was previously available only in vials. The SymlinPen 60 delivers 15, 30, 45, or 60 micrograms per dose.
I've been doing a lot of flying lately, and it's given me time for
reflection. While aloft a few days ago in JetBlue's comfy seat, as I
took out my syringe and Humalog to dose for my snack, I realized how
many things I no longer do that I was once taught to do.
It's about time that we Americans catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to using insulin pens. Maybe we will, now that SoloSTAR, sanofi-aventis's disposable insulin pen, is available in the United States.
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.
Each year, one hundred thousand peregrinos, or pilgrims, set out for
Santiago De Compostela in northwestern Spain to visit the bones of
St. James buried beneath the cathedral. Called El Camino de
Santiago, it's one of the world's largest Christian pilgrimages.
When it comes to administering insulin, many people prefer an insulin pen over the standard syringe and vial because they find pens more convenient and more accurate. And pre-filled disposable pens are easiest of all, because you don’t have to install a new cartridge when the pen is empty–you just toss it out.
Lilly has launched Memoir, a sleek reusable insulin pen that looks
like a classy Mont Blanc writing pen instead of a medical tool. The
first insulin pen with a memory, it allows users to record and
review their last 16 insulin doses, including the priming doses and
the time of delivery. It uses Humalog and is available by
A German company has developed the world’s first blood glucose
meter that can wirelessly transmit your blood glucose test results.
The GlucoTel is the first meter to support Bluetooth wireless
If you are an endocrinologist or primary care physician who works with diabetics,
you have undoubtedly heard of the insulin pen. You probably know of their
popularity in Europe or have heard testimonials from pen users about their ease of
Several months ago, I met Sophia, a woman in her mid-40s
who had been struggling to manage her type 2 diabetes for
years. Her blood glucose levels were typically well above 300
mg/dl, and she had an equally high A1C of 12.5%. She made
it clear that the last thing she wanted was insulin.
Because people with diabetes sometimes
suffer from visual impairment as well
as reduced manual dexterity, Japanese
researchers assessed the reliability of dose
selection and setting of five insulin devices
by patients using auditory and sensory
In 1998, Eli Lilly & Co.’s rapid-acting insulin analogue lispro (Humalog) appeared on the U.S. market, followed in 2000 by Novo Nordisk’s rapid-acting counterpart aspart (NovoLog). Joined now by sanofi-aventis’ glulisine (Apidra), these rapid-acting insulins offer both convenience and improved blood glucose control to your patients who require bolus insulin.
Are you an expectant mother with diabetes? If so, are you wondering about the
disappearance of infusion sites as your baby grows and your abdomen expands?
Do you anticipate that “pinching an inch” will become more of
a challenge? Are you concerned about the angle and depth of insertion, and
how often you should rotate insertion sites? Here are a few suggestions for
It is estimated that that between eight and nine million people use
syringes at home, generating two to three billion used needles each year
in the United States. About two-thirds of the needle users are injecting for
medicinal purposes like diabetes.
I often wonder why insulin pens are
so popular in Europe, yet usage in the
United States continues to hover around
12 percent. I think the main reason is that
many healthcare providers are not familiar
with insulin pens or how to train people to
use them, so they don’t recommend pens to
He grew up among country folks
in Mississippi. As a child, he
performed on street corners for dimes,
sometimes in four towns each
night. That was only the
beginning for the man
who ended up being
perhaps the most
musician of all time.
Will Cross has taken diabetes to new heights—literally.
The Pittsburgh-based expeditioner and former high school principal
became the first person with diabetes to reach the South Summit of Mount
Everest, with a successful summit on May 31.
On March 16, 2005, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of San Diego, California,
announced it had received FDA approval for Symlin (pramlintide acetate)
injections to be used in conjunction with insulin to treat diabetes.
Since the early 1980s, people with diabetes have needed
accessory cases to carry their testing and insulin supplies
with them. As the goal of better blood glucose control led to
more frequent glucose testing, multiple daily injections and
insulin pumps, keeping supplies and life support systems handy
has become ever more important.
Today’s finger-piercing lancets draw much less blood than their predecessors did. But they still hurt, say some. Today’s insulin needles are models of precision engineering. But they’re still not comfortable for everyone—especially if they hit a nerve.
Becton, Dickinson and Company, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, best known for its insulin syringes, has entered the blood-glucose meter market with two products: the BD Logic blood-glucose monitor and the BD Latitude Diabetes Management System.
If you're still putting your used lancets, pen needles and syringes in a coffee can or empty detergent bottle and surreptitiously burying it under the empty cans and boxes in the trash because your community doesn't have a sharps disposal program, Becton Dickinson (BD) of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, has a solution.
Shorter needles for both insulin syringes and pens mean no more pinching and less bleeding and bruising, says Becton Dickinson and Company of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, in introducing its BD Mini pen needles and insulin syringe needles.
As an insulin pumper, are you prepared for unexpected (or expected) events? For instance, there might be a time when you are not using your insulin pump—either by choice or by necessity. Is this a time for panic?
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals of Princeton, New Jersey, has formed an alliance with Rite Aid Corporation to provide better care for people with diabetes who use insulin therapy. Rite Aid stores will give preferred status to insulin formulations and delivery systems produced by Novo Nordisk, according to a press release from the pharmaceutical company.
People who inject insulin can confuse Lantus (insulin glargine) with short-acting Regular insulin or rapid-acting Humalog (insulin lispro) or NovoLog (insulin aspart) because they are all clear in color, warn doctors from the Yale University School of Medicine.
Imagine discovering at a young age that you are a gifted athlete—gifted enough to possibly one day represent your country in the Olympics. Imagine training and honing your skills for years and years, until you are among the best at a particular sport. Imagine the Olympics on the horizon and within your reach—so close you can almost taste it.
Are you planning to start your child on an insulin pump during summer vacation? While this may be a great time to get comfortable with a pump, the next challenge will come when the child returns to school.
Q: All insulin vials are packaged with an insert that tells you not to use the insulin if the solids stay caked when you roll or shake the vial. For around 23 years, I used Iletin I and never encountered that problem. The solids always distributed themselves through the liquid the way they were supposed to. In two or three years of using Humulin, however, I've had to throw away at least four vials because the insulin cakes up and will not uncake itself no matter how much rolling, tipping or shaking I do. I can't imagine why the old "standard" insulin, which worked better in general, cost less than what we're using now, and tended to survive better on the shelf, is no longer produced in this country but is apparently still made in eastern Europe, where medicine is supposedly less advanced!
One of Diabetes Health's most popular sections is its "Question & Answer" column. Our readers ask questions that cannot always be answered in a 10-minute office visit, and we pose these questions to our arsenal of diabetes professionals who offer their expertise.
John Hughes of Woodburn, Oregon, had never bothered to get a letter from his doctor stating that he has diabetes and is required to carry sharp-pointed insulin-pump infusion sets, lancets and emergency syringes with him into airplane cabins.
Roche Diagnostics of Indianapolis, Indiana, is now offering a new lancet with unique functions for making blood sugar testing as painless as possible. Called the Accu-Chek Softclix, the lancet features 11 different depth settings, which can be set to match your skin type. In addition, the lancet does not use a spring-loaded system, which can cause skin tissue to dilate or tear. Instead, it uses a linear sliding motion to avoid pain caused by side movement, according to company's press release.
Eight years ago, Apple Computer Corporation introduced the Apple Newton MessagePad 100, thus launching the hand-held computer revolution. As technology has facilitated the way we use these types of computers, many electronics manufacturers have jumped on board in the development and marketing of their own handheld devices.
Researchers speculate that incorrect use of insulin pens may harm one's ability to control diabetes. However, after studying the effects of correct and incorrect use of insulin pens on users, they found that the method of injecting did not affect a person's HbA1c—despite the fact that incorrect injecting is common.
Kelly Van Horn, RD, CDE, of Sammamish, Washington, received the Creative Nutrition Education Award from the American Dietetic Association for her innovative product that teaches educators and their patients about nutrition.
The blood glucose (BG) meter is the "single most important thing" in the life of a person-type 1 and 2-with diabetes, says Jane Seley, RN, CDE, MPH, MSN, GNP, a doctoral candidate at New York University.
For millions of people with diabetes, technology has supplied us with wonderful, helpful aids to help control blood sugar. While some of these medications come in pill form and remain stable when stored out of light and at moderate temperatures, people with diabetes who use insulin need to depend on more than technology to make sure their insulin is in top form.
Many people with diabetes must have daily insulin injections to live. However, what happens to the billions of insulin syringes generated each year in the United States alone? Often, they are thrown in the trash, exposing family members, sanitation workers and landfill operators to accidental needle-stick injuries.
In a letter to the June 21 issue of Journal of American Medicine, several physicians at the Medical University of South Carolina detailed their observations of six patients with diabetes who were suffering from needle fragments buried in the skin.
Dinner is at 5, but you usually eat at 7. Your attending doctor does not do the same things as you and your diabetes team. Your attending doctor knows you have a diabetes specialist but does not call the specialist. You routinely eat a bedtime snack, but nobody in the hospital brings you one. The insulin you use is Humalog, but it is not on the formulary. Neither is your ACE inhibitor.
On March 20, Eli Lilly and Company announced the availability of the first pre-mixed insulin containing the rapid-acting insulin lispro (Humalog). Called the Humalog Mix 75/25 Pen, the mixture combines 75 percent insulin lispro protamine suspension (similar to NPH) and 25 percent insulin lispro injection (rDNA origin).
Although syringe makers and medical professionals alike caution against needle re-use, the practice is widespread, judging from the response to an informal survey we conducted for this article. Forty-three out of the 57 readers we surveyed re-use their needles, from two to as many as 150 times.
1999 did not produce any dramatic breakthroughs where syringes, insulin pens and injection aids were concerned. New products were minor variations or improvements on the same themes. As always, the focus of new injection devices is on less pain and more comfort. The cost-conscious consumer, however, wants durable products that deliver the least pain at the lowest cost. Often, it is hard for manufacturers to meet all these conditions.
Neutral protamine Hagendorn (NPH) insulin contains several components which need to be evenly mixed to be the most effective. If the solution is not mixed well, it can produce potentially severe episodes of hypoglycemia in its users.
The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) is urging people with diabetes to take out pen and paper to ask Congress for more diabetes research money. In September, Congress began its discussion on bills to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A new insulin pen is available, and it is "open" to using any kind of insulin. From Disetronic, this pen is not prefilled, but you fill it yourself with whatever type of insulin you use. Disetronic is calling the open pen economical, because it can be reused and insulin purchased in vial form is the least expensive.
Hundreds of responses came back when DIABETES HEALTH ran its survey on the popular children's Web site, childrenwithdiabetes.com, asking parents for their favorite products and tips on diabetes care. Here are a few of the responses we received.
While insulin pens have made blood glucose management easier and more flexible for many individuals with diabetes, they are also susceptible to technical malfunctions. Such malfunctions could result in extraordinarily high blood glucose (BG) levels, and impair the diabetes patient's health.
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.
Enlisting your personal computer in your diabetes care plan can give you a comprehensive, objective picture of your glycemic control. MediSense offers its glucose data management system, Precision Link, for use with its Precision Q.I.D., Precision Q.I.D. Pen, MediSense 2 and MediSense 2 Pen glucose monitors.
Diabetes is a rich and growing industry. Last year alone, the diabetes medication market grew 23 percent. Furthermore, 2,186 more of us are diagnosed with diabetes in this country every day. Do the math and you'll see a growing market.
In March a U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Becton Dickinson, a major manufacturer of insulin pens and needles, in its false and misleading advertising suit against its Danish competitor, Novo Nordisk. The court prohibited Novo Nordisk from claiming that its NovoPen 1.5 and Novolin Pre-filled devices can only be used with NovoFine needles.
It can be difficult enough being a child, not to mention a child with diabetes. Luckily, there are educational toys, products and information that can help children with diabetes conquer some of the mountains that diabetes can create. DIABETES HEALTH looked into various products and logged onto a web site for children with diabetes - www.castleweb.com/diabetes/ - to ask parents of children with diabetes firsthand how they deal with the day-to-day challenges of diabetes. Here are a few products and parents' tips that you may want to look into.
The British Diabetic Association's (BDA's) insulin campaign is committed to securing choice for people with diabetes for the kind of insulin that they use. The BDA is therefore committed to securing long-term availability of animal and human insulins, and provision of animal insulins in pen cartridges.
I recently visited the Golden Triangle of Central Europe (the cities of Vienna, Budapest and Prague) with seven friends. In the golden city of Prague I had the immense pleasure of meeting much of the staff at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine's Diabetes Clinic, the Klinika Diabetologie. Everyone I met in Prague exuded such hospitality and such a optimistic outlook for these changing times in this historical city. The staff at the Klinika was no exception.
There is good news for people in the U.K. who are unsatisfied with the lack of animal insulins. CP Pharmaceuticals of Wrexham, England is now producing beef and pork insulins in cartridges for use with a free pen injection device as well as the normal 10 ml vials.
Differing opinions about how to best care for insulin are stirring up a whirlwind of confusion. Over the last few months readers have been sending their questions and concerns to DIABETES HEALTH. The questions are simple enough: What is the best temperature to keep my insulin? Is it okay to use insulin past the expiration date? How should I mix my insulin? But answers to these questions can vary, making it hard to be sure one is doing the right thing. Here the questions and comments of insulin users will be presented with the recommendations of the companies who produce insulin.
The following is an informal, unscientific review of some of the leading injection aid products on the market. It is not the result of a comprehensive consumer satisfaction survey. While we are thankful for the responses from our readers included in the article, it should be noted that they are the opinions solely of the individuals and do not reflect the views of Diabetes Health.
Some criminals will go to enormous lengths to beat a rap. The Palm Beach Post reported a Florida man, Wesley Shaffer, attempted to convince a jury that he was an undiagnosed diabetic who had been driven insane by eating large amounts of cotton candy. The jury didn't buy it. Mr. Shaffer was convicted on burglary charges, and then promptly escorted to jail-far from the tempting dangers of cotton candy.
Pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk filed suit against major competitor Eli Lilly on Aug. 1, alleging that Lilly deliberately created false and misleading packaging information for its new Humulin cartridges.
How do you get a giant pharmaceutical company to listen? Make a lot of noise, say the founders of three patient advocate groups that formed when animal insulins were pulled from the market in Europe and North America.
In response to the proposed removal of animal insulin from the market in the next few years, the Bellagio Group, an international professional group sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, gathered in Bellagio Italy on April 8 to discuss what actions should be taken. The result is this document which they have issued to the World Health Organization and other public health agencies worldwide. The report is a set of guidelines for the use and value of animal insulin.
A major challenge in diabetes therapy is to match the insulin with food and exercise. Changes in the amount of time that it takes for insulin to be absorbed into the bloodstream can be a critical factor in obtaining diabetes control. Both the amount of insulin and its timing are critical, and both of these can be influenced by a wide range of variables. Here is a list of factors which every person taking insulin should be aware of.
This is the third and fourth parts of a six part series on "How to Understand and Use Insulin." The goal of this series is to promote a better understanding of insulin for those readers who already take insulin, including the many people with Type II diabetes who have switched from pills to insulin to treat their diabetes. The first and second parts of the series dealt with the technical factors involved in minimizing variations in insulin absorption. These parts focus on adjusting insulin, and parts five and six will focus on insulin research.
This is the second part of a six part series on "How to Understand and Use Insulin." The goal of this series is to promote a better understanding of insulin for those readers who already take insulin, including the many people with Type 2 diabetes who have switched from pills to insulin to treat their diabetes. The first and second parts of the series discuss the technical factors involved in minimizing variations in insulin absorption. Parts three and four will focus on adjusting insulin, and parts five and six will focus on insulin research.
In a study published in The Diabetes Educator, May/June 1992, researchers conducted a survey to evaluate the opinions of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes concerning their use of jet injectors for insulin delivery. It was also the intent of the researchers to find out if the use of a jet injector affected the patient's commitment to their treatment program.
On July 1st,1991, San Francisco introduced a pilot program, initiated by Scott King, Editor in Chief of DIABETES HEALTH, to help reduce the risk of city garbage collectors getting stuck by syringe needles.
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