More and More Diabetes Patients Getting Turned On to Insulin Pens

From the Spring Research Guide

| Apr 1, 2006

Although they are equally effective when it comes to delivering insulin, more insulin-using patients expressed a preference to continue using an insulin pen after trying one.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, say that accuracy and convenience of pen devices for insulin injection have improved quality of life for patients with insulin-treated diabetes.

“Prefilled disposable pens have the advantage of simplicity, with minimal training and attention required, and no installation of new cartridges necessary,” they write.

A total of 121 patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes were studied to assess patient preference, efficacy and safety profiles with use of a prefilled disposable pen and of a conventional vial-syringe injection method for insulin injection therapy. Patients were transferred from conventional insulin therapy to a mixture of NovoLog Mix 70/30 for four weeks, using their usual type of syringe. For the next four weeks, they were then randomly assigned to use either the vial and syringe or a NovoLog FlexPen that was prefilled with NovoLog Mix 70/30. After that four-week period, patients were switched to vial syringe injection.

Of the 103 people who completed the study, 74 percent indicated a preference for the pen over the vial-syringe method, compared with 20 percent who preferred the vial-syringe.

In addition,

  • 85 percent considered the pen more discreet for use in public, compared with 9 percent for the vial-syringe.
  • 74 percent considered the pen easier to use overall, compared with 21 percent for the vial-syringe.
  • 85 percent found the insulin dose scale on the pen easier to read, compared with 10 percent for the vial-syringe.

“No statistically significant differences in fasting plasma glucose, mean four-point blood glucose profiles or serum fructosamine values were found between groups,” write the researchers. “Overall, the safety profiles during treatment periods with the pen were comparable to those with the vial-syringe.”

Clinical Therapeutics, November 2003

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Pens, Professional Issues, Syringes

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