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Several insulin delivery devices are being discontinued by a major insulin manufacturer. On Jan. 1, 2010, the Novolin Innolet R, Innolet N, Innolet 70/30, and any of the Novolin Pen fills, except the Novolog Pen fill, will no longer be available.
This will be difficult for those of you who depend on these insulin devices to manage diabetes. The prefilled Flex pen is a great device and is easier to use than the Pen fill cartridge pens, but it doesn't come with NPH insulin. The Innolet is also a great pen device. In fact, when it first came out I often said it was the best thing since sliced bread to happen to diabetes education.
I have a patient with severe rheumatoid arthritis who's on twice- a-day NPH insulin program. The only way she can give her own injections is with the Innolet pen. She has tried the other NPH pen and is unable to manage it. She's at the point where she may need to hire a nursing service and have a nurse come into her home to give her injections twice a day. This is a major expense and she'd lose her independent living. A number of our patients have dexterity issues and the Innolet has been an extremely useful tool. I've also found it useful for illiterate clients and individuals with poor eyesight.
The same company will only have NPH insulin available in a vial. This means that a healthcare provider will have to order the NPH for their patients as vial/syringes, write a prescription for the other major insulin company's NPH pen, or switch to another insulin program. All these options do come with some obstacles.
The bottom line — talk to your health care provider about your options.
Have a great week!
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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Brueslamar: If you haven't done so, please direct your concerns to Novo-Nordisk.
I have had severe rheumatoid arthritis since the late 1960s. My fingers are twisted and bent backward.
Using the Innolet Insulin Pen was so easy for my hands, but the fountain pen looking pen I am now using is getting more difficult by the day to use.
Will medical companies begin to make the Innolet Pen again. I for one would very much appreciate that.
I know this is an old post but my comment is still relevent ... my great-grandmother was diagnosed at a point she had cataracts so she couldn't see anything. We only had Regular and NPH back then.
Someone came weekly and drew the insulin (into syringes) for her. Left them the refrigerator.
Perhaps that's an option. If there are different doses, draw them and place them in different places so they won't get mixed up. Mark them with large dark letters.
My mother is 86 years of age, is visually impaired and has been using the innolet for the past 3yrs since my father passed away. He was her carer and always managed her insulin and injections, she is so upset that she will have to rely on nurses coming in twice a day to give her the insulin. It is taking away her independence, as it is to a lot of people. We a currently looking for something similar so that we can teach her to inject herself so she can regain her confidence and independence.
is there any new product out since this was discontinued.the alternatives are very dificult
I use the Levemir with the FlexPen. Some times I have a sore knot that comes on the injection site. What an I doing wrong when I give myself the injection.
Nancy: The pens that are discontinued are the Novolin Innolet R, Innolet N, Innolet 70/30, and any of the Novolin Pen fills, except the Novolog Pen fill. According to NovoNordisk website they still have novolog cartridges for the Novopen Jr. Some pharmacies do not stock novolog (rapid insulin) cartridges. You might check with another pharmacy.
I've been using the Novopen Jr with 1/2 unit capability & Novolog cartridges for a long time. Now I'm told I can no longer get the cartridges. The same thing happened with Humalog several years ago. I NEED the half unit capability & I'm tired of having pens that can no longer be used. I don't like having to carry syringes with me when I go out to eat. Is there any way to change the minds of the powers that be? It doesn't make sense to discontinue something that makes insulin so much easier to use!
When I learned that the insulin (Novalin N) cartridge was being discontinued after many years, I struggled to find that Lilly uses Humulin N in its disposable. I purchased it and find it is MUCH more complex to use, including difficulty with reading the symbols (diamond, arrow, numbers, through a convex glass. Give me my cartridge for simplicity and accuracy!
No one is saying why Novolin Pens are being discontinued! It certainly can't be because the company is losing money! So many diabetics use this device, not only for convenience but for accuracy. My husband was told today but not any reason for it except the manufacturer was not making it anymore. This is not progression instead it seems like regression for diabetics!
Whoa !! - all this about Novo discontinuing items is news to me: we have heard nothing about it here.
I have used the Novolin Pens for 25+ years and now also the (new) Novo-Levemir cartridge.
Does anyone think that this might just be a change restricted to the USA ?
Thanks for any info 12/28/09
Novolog 70/30 is a mix of rapid and intermediate acting insulin so that it produces a peak (ideal for meal time) and a sustained level for some time.
NPH is an intermediate acting insulin that takes effect about 1.5 hours after injection and typically lasts between 12 and 24 hours.
NPH is an older formulation of insulin that has largely been replaced by Lantus, a long acting form of insulin sometimes referred to as "basal" because it mimics the body's natural baseline insulin and is touted to have no peak (though some studies show it does).
There are a lot of options out there, so talk to your doctor.
If the patient is on a set dose of insulin (not a sliding scale) then a nurse or friend or family member can pre fill syringes for up to 2 weeks worth. If on twice a day dosing make two different colored well marked cups to hold the syringes and store them in the fridge
We wonder why our health care cost are going up.
In regards to the accouncement about Novo discontining its Novolin pen fill that condaih NPH insulin, two questions: What is NPH insulin and how it is different from the insulin I use in my Novolog 70/30 FlexPen (which, if I read you right, is not being discontinued)? Second, Why is Novo doing this, and why does your bottom line--"talk to your health care provider"--not also include write Novo a blistering email demanding they keep the product on the market?
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